Impact on Young Adults

General Impact

  • Young adults under age 26 can now be insured as a dependent on their parent’s health insurance. The only exception is if the parent has an existing job-based plan and young adult can get his/her own job-based coverage.
  • The law will require young adults to buy insurance. Due to restrictions on age rating, however, young adults will pay higher premiums for any coverage they obtain than they would prior to the law’s passage. These higher premiums will allow older individuals to pay lower premiums.
  • Young adults with flexible spending accounts also will face higher expenses due to restrictions on such accounts.
  • New health plans must now cover certain preventive services without cost sharing, including contraceptives.
  • Starting in 2014, if young adults who are unemployed with limited income up to about $15,000 per year for a single person (higher income for couples/families with children), may be eligible for health coverage through Medicaid.
  • Starting in 2014, young adults with income less than the equivalent of about $43,000 for a single individual who work in jobs that do not offer affordable coverage, may get tax credits to help pay for insurance.
  • Starting in 2014, young adults whose employer doesn’t offer insurance will be able to buy insurance directly in an Affordable Insurance Exchange.

Major Provisions Affecting Young Adults

  • Health Coverage for Older Children. Health coverage for an employee’s children under 27 years of age is now generally tax-free to the employee. This expanded health care tax benefit applies to various work place and retiree health plans. These changes immediately allow employers with cafeteria plans –– plans that allow employees to choose from a menu of tax-free benefit options and cash or taxable benefits –– to permit employees to begin making pre-tax contributions to pay for this expanded benefit. This also applies to self-employed individuals who qualify for the self-employed health insurance deduction on their federal income tax return. Learn more by reading our news release or this notice.
  • Restrictions on Health Spending Accounts. Starting in 2011, individuals will no longer be able to use tax-advantaged money from an FSA, a health savings account or a health reimbursement account for over-the-counter drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor.Starting in 2013, the health-care-reform law caps annual FSA contributions at $2,500 per year (previously, there was no maximum contribution amount for medical FSAs).

PPACA and Taxes (link to new page)


On-line Resources


Research and Analysis



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