HERvotes Blog Carnival: Gen Y Women Benefit from the Affordable Health Care Act
Posted by egehl on March 20, 2012
Generation Y (Gen Y) women are a powerful force in the workplace. They are an important constituency vital to developing a diverse and skilled workforce now and into the future. By supporting young women and giving them the tools they need to succeed everyone wins because they are tomorrow’s thinkers, leaders, and enthusiasts about the issues we care about. BPW Foundation has focused on Gen Y because we believe that understanding and addressing the needs of these women is critical for maintaining a competitive edge nationally and globally. Through our Gen Y research, BPW Foundation seeks to understand what these women need in order to be successful in the workplace, and then translate that knowledge into tools that improve how employers recruit, support, and retain young women. We have found that there are many components to the future success of Gen Y women in the workplace, however, recognize that success in the workplace will not happen if they are not healthy.
The health of young women is at the foundation of their success because without it their ability to grow and move forward will inevitably be stymied. For many young women, being able to take care of their health has been elusive because healthcare is too expensive, they cannot find employment in this tough job market, or they are underemployed with an hourly job that does not offer comprehensive health care. Thankfully with passage two years ago of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of those hurdles have been addressed with important components for young women included in the new law.
Most significantly for young women, the Affordable Care Act includes coverage for young adults under the age of 26 through their parent’s health insurance. Therefore if an adult’s plan covers children, they can now add or keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Before the health care law, insurance companies could remove enrolled children usually at age 19, sometimes older for full-time students.
By allowing young women to stay on a parent’s plan, the law makes it easier and more affordable for them to get health insurance coverage. This was a key provision because it allows Gen Y women, especially those just coming out of college and looking for jobs, to have a safety net during the first few years they are getting on their feet. Without it they are left stranded and could face unpredicted health costs. In addition, these young women can join or remain on their parent’s plan even if they are married, not living with their parents, attending school, not financially dependent, or eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan.
Even though young women may feel invincible when it comes to their health, they still must be mindful of preventative services they should undertake to maintain their health and avoid future illness. This brings us to another important aspect of the Affordable Care Act for Gen Y women; the coverage of certain preventative services without cost sharing. This includes coverage for immunizations, depression screening, pap smears, and services for pregnant women. The more young women take care of themselves now through various preventative services the better off their health will be down the road thereby reducing their future health care costs which will benefit the entire health care system.
Additional aspects of the Affordable Care Act important to Gen Y women, particularly those who are single, include the potential of receiving tax credits to help pay for insurance starting in 2014 if their income is less than $43,000 for a single individual, and their job doesn’t offer affordable coverage. Also starting in 2014, if a Gen Y woman is unemployed with a limited income of up to $15,000 per year for a single person (higher income for couples/families with children), she may be eligible for health coverage through Medicaid.
As BPW Foundation continues to examine Gen Y women, their career choices and the subsequent consequences these decisions have on their lives, workplaces and society, undeniably health is a part of that overall picture. As the cost of healthcare rises, it is important that younger generations have the care they need either through their employer or family member so that they can treat and prevent illness. The Affordable Care Act gives Gen Y women more choices to take care of themselves something that was missing before ACA was passed. And the absence of that option had a detrimental impact on the health of many young women. Gen Y women need a safety net and available, feasible options to take charge of their health so that they have can a fulfilling career and the opportunities many of them want to give back to their communities. The Affordable Care Act is a giant step forward in helping to make that happen for this next generation of women.
For more information about how the Affordable Care Act benefit young women please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/young-adult-coverage/index.html.
HERvotes Blog Carnival: Join us by sharing this and the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.
- Two Years Later, Reflections on the Land Mark Health Care Law, Miri Cypers, Jewish Women International
- Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act!, Kristin Rowe-Finkeiner, MomsRising
- The Affordable Health Care Act and Women’s Health, National Association of Social Workers
- The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on One Young Woman, Lindsay Yancich, NOW
- Health Reform: Winning for Women,Tara Mancini, Women’s Health Policy Network
- Today’s Story: How Health Care Helps Women, NARAL
- Health Care Stories the Supreme Court Needs to Read, Nancy Keenan, NARAL
- Where would women be today without the landmark programs that were enacted over the last 45 years to protect and advance women’s health?, Raising Women’s Voices
- Why We Need Affordable Health Care, AAUW
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) Anniversary, CEO Gloria Lau, YWCA USA
- 20 Million Women and Counting: Two Years of the Affordable Health Care Act, Planned Parenthood
- Preventive Care: Protect the Affordable Care Act, Mallen Urso, National Women’s Political Caucus
- Why I Support the Health Care Law, Amy Cotton, National Council of Jewish Women