Even for insured, health care costs add up
A new law, effective since Jan. 1, will allow dependents under 25 to receive health care coverage under a guardian's health care plan, regardless of college enrollment. The law will benefit many young adults, historically one of the largest categ...
A new law, effective since Jan. 1, will allow dependents under 25 to receive health care coverage under a guardian's health care plan, regardless of college enrollment. The law will benefit many young adults, historically one of the largest categories of uninsured people. But the law fails to address the increasing financial burden insured families face to receive adequate health care.
Young adults who are not college-bound or fresh out of college remain one of the highest categories of the uninsured. About 30 percent of adults between 18 and 24 lack health insurance coverage.
Part of the problem comes from work situations. Young adults tend to work more part-time and service-oriented jobs. These jobs typically either do not offer health insurance or include plans which force them to choose between health insurance or basic necessities.
The ability to remain on a parent's health care plan will be welcome news for these young adults, only one medical emergency away from catastrophe. But in order to benefit, families must be able to cover the deductibles and prescription costs. New data shows these costs are on the rise.
A report from non-profit Families USA found more than 1 million Minnesotans under 65 years of age will pay more than 10 percent of their pre-tax income on health care costs. Of these families, nine out of 10 have health insurance.
Some families will pay even more. One-quarter of those familes pay 25 percent of their income - or more - on health care. Costs per person for health care premiums skyrocketed from slightly more than $2,000 in 2000 to nearly $3,500 in 2006.
Modern medicine uses a great deal of cutting edge technology for diagnosis and treatment. Medicine should strive to always improve, and there would be no point to the technology if it sat idle. But the misfortune of contracting a serious, chronic illness should not spell financial ruin, especially for the insured.
It is good to allow more people coverage on health insurance. But unless those on insurance can afford treatment, the change will be of little benefit.