The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents. Select Coverage and Benefits Provisions of the Affordable Care Act


The Affordable Care Act includes provisions intended to improve access to health insurance coverage and ensure that such coverage provides essential health benefits for adolescents and young adults. Several of these provisions are already in effect for most plans, including requirements to cover preventive services without cost-sharing, a prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19, a prohibition of lifetime or restrictive annual limits on essential health benefits, and coverage for dependents ages 19-25 on their parent’s health insurance plan.  Several others, including the opportunity for states to expand Medicaid, coverage of essential health benefits, and the ability to get coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace with access to premium tax credits will apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Taken together, these provisions ensure that adolescents will have access to health insurance that covers benefits particularly important for this population.

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