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Dependent Coverage of Children Who Have Not Attained Age 26

The Affordable Care Act requires plans and issuers that offer dependent coverage to make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26. Both married and unmarried children qualify for this coverage. This rule applies to all plans in the individual market and to new employer plans. It also applies to existing employer plans unless the adult child has another offer of employer-based coverage (such as through his or her job). Beginning in 2014, children up to age 26 can stay on their parent’s employer plan even if they have another offer of coverage through an employer.

Uninsured Young Adults by County

Data in this file indicate the estimated number of uninsured individuals ages 19-25 in each U.S. county.  These individuals may be eligible to join their parent’s health plan if that plan offers dependent coverage.  Data are based on the 2007 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) and March 2008 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS-ASEC).

The estimated number of uninsured individuals ages 19-25 in these estimates is based on the CPS, and is greater than the estimate presented in the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for this regulation (implementing Section 2714 of the PHS Act, as added by Section 1001 of the Affordable Care Act). The differences are primarily a result of two factors.  First, the estimates in the RIA, which were based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), estimated the number of full-year uninsured, while the CPS data are generally thought to represent a point-in-time snapshot that measures something closer to the number of individuals without health insurance at the time the survey was conducted.  Second, the MEPS data were corrected for the ‘Medicaid undercount’ – that is, the tendency for some survey respondents to forget that they were covered by Medicaid – while the SAHIE estimates were not corrected for the Medicaid undercount.  To convert the SAHIE data that appears in this file from a point-in-time estimate to an estimate that is comparable to the estimates in the RIA, the values in column D of the file can be multiplied by 0.763.