Important provisions concerning students in the Affordable Care Act were signed into effect recently. Students will now be able to stay under a parent or guardian’s health insurance until they are 26 years old.

According to the National Conference of State Legisla- tures, approximately 30 percent of Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 have no health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, signed into effect on Sept. 23, 2010, extends health care coverage to the more than 13 million Americans living without insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 2.37 million young adults will be affected by this new law.

“It’s wonderful in my opinion,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, doctor at TJC’s Campus Clinic, “that is just one less thing for students to worry about. With the cost of everything rising, it will be incentive for students to take better care of themselves without worrying about the cost.”

With the cost of living increasing, students can find it hard to get by sometimes attending school, especially full-time, and holding a job to support themselves. With the option of having insurance through a parent or guardian until 26, it will be more Beneficial for students to save what money they can, while worrying less about medical bills if the need comes

“It’s hard to believe but some students overlook illness because it’s expensive to get treatment,” said Dr. Eijsink. “But you can’t put a price on your health.”

Not only can students worry less about the cost of seeing a doctor, coverage can no longer be denied for pre-existing conditions, which could encourage students to get their symptoms checked out earlier without being nervous about the cost or being denied

Although the act is a landmark in health care reform, it remains a topic of hot debate. Students and faculty share differing opinions on whether or not they feel like the law will help or hurt Americans.

“Yes, it sounds good to have insurance from your parents until you’re 26, but at what cost?” said Bryan Peace, sophomore at TJC. “If we are going to be paying for this thing for the rest of our lives anyway, that really doesn’t sweeten the deal much does it?”

Not only does the health care bill cover students until the age of 26, it also has effects on how students can receive financial aid

“Getting financial aid isn’t hard, but problems along the way can make it hard to get the ball moving, which can slow down progress in class,” said Omar Ramirez, sophomore at TJC, “And if you get behind, you know, it’s hard to catch back up sometimes.

Student loans will now be distributed by the federal government, eliminating bank and private loans as the middle men. This will help reduce the number of students who make the mistake of borrowing too much and have problems paying them back later, since the new bill also includes a repayment plan adjusted to how much the individual makes per year, rather than the debt they have

According to the NCSL, approximately $36 billion will be fed into Pell grant funding over the next 10 years, which will increase the amount of students who qualify for those grants. Also, the amount that an individual can borrow through the Pell grant will be increased in the next few years by $425, decreasing the cost of a four-year college education by $1,700, money which a student would possibly have to borrow instead.

And even with these improvements, the federal government is providing even more for students in the future. Starting in 2014, more incentives will be added for students, including loan forgiveness after 20 years of on-time payment, and base loan repayment being lowered accordingly to the individual’s income.

The Affordable Care Act will do more than provide incentives for students in the manner of decreases in loan payments, increases in grants, or providing insurance for those uninsured; it will continue to give assurance that the federal government is willing to help out to ensure a bright future for students.

 

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