Arizona PIRG Education Fund is looking to help navigate students through their options in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act says that all citizens must have health care in 2014 or they can face financial penalties and will be responsible for all of their medical bills without any form of government subsidies.
According to Health and Human Services, just under 27,000 people signed up for health insurance using the health care exchange site healthcare.gov, which has had difficulties since its initial launch.
“It has been our theory that young adults will wait to sign up due to the fact that many of them have never signed up for health insurance before,” said Diane Brown, executive director for Arizona PIRG Education Fund.
Their theory may be correct.
According to date from Kentucky’s state-run insurance exchange, only 24 percent of their enrollees were under the age of 34, and nearly 40 percent are over the age of 55.
“Young people are essential to keeping costs contained,” Brown said.
The enrollment date was extended slightly for healthcare.gov, but did close as of Nov. 30.
Brown added that healthcare.gov is only one option that young people have and that they should explore the options that they have available.
People can now stay on their parents policy until the age of 26 as a provision of the Affordable Care Act and Arizona’s Medicaid agency, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System has been expanded to help those who may have trouble affording health care on their own.
Aaron Rogers, a newly enrolled MCC student, intends to take one of these alternate routes.
“I will probably try to get insurance through my work sometime next year,” Rogers said.
He did add, however, that he is concerned about the cost because he has very little flex room in his current budget, but feels that having the insurance is a good idea.