Insurance for young adults
By the time children reached ages 18 to 21, they were typically removed as dependents on their parents' health plans unless they were full-time students or disabled. While some young people obtained coverage through employers, 4 out of 10 adults between 19 and 25 were uninsured in 2012.
For policies written since Sept. 23, 2010, a child younger than 26 can remain on or return to Mom's or Dad's plan, even if the kid is married, financially independent, not living at home and/or eligible for coverage through work. Some policies now cover maternity for young women who are dependents, though that's not required.
"This provision is a middle- and upper-class benefit because it implies that there are parents of adult children that are insured," Chollet says. "The lowest-income people are not in that situation."
Corlette adds that parents were widely relieved that their adult children would no longer have to make do with the bare-bones "mini-med" health plans available in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries, where many young people enter the workforce. "I think it brought parents peace of mind," she says. "Those plans weren't very protective."