AcademyHealth: How much are we paying for dependent coverage?

One of the most obviously popular and successful of the Affordable Care Act’s many mandates is that all family plans include dependent coverage until they turn 26 years of age. This was also one of the first regulations to go into effect, fully four years before the exchanges or the Medicaid expansion began. Polls and measures of uninsurance showed that while the insurance rates of many groups worsened over the following years, rates in those who might benefit from the young adult provision have actually fallen.

I’ve covered the evidence on how this provision has affected outcomes more than once on this blog. One of the main concerns of this mandate, however, is that this would increase the cost of premiums for insurance, even for those who don’t need the extra coverage. Now, data are becoming available that might shed some light on whether this concern holds merit. In this month’s Journal of Health Economics, Briggs Depew and James Bailey published a study that can help. “Did the Affordable Care Act’s dependent coverage mandate increase premiums?

Want to read more? Sure you do. Head on over to my latest post at the AcademyHealth blog to learn!


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