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Writing samplehealth

  1. 1. PolicyA New Provision Emerges, An Old SystemHolds- Allison GoldsteinRecent reform in health care legislation means a different approach to coveted post-graduate health insurancefor many students. While some feel confident that they will find a solution to coverage, others fight the battlebetween high unemployment rates and medical coverage that might break the bank.Steven Louis-Prescott, 23, graduated last May from the University of Michigan with intentions of a gap-yearbefore law school. Louis-Prescott, a Michigan native and current employee at Brother Rice High School inBloomfield Township, Mich., decided to buy a low priced 12-month plan for $40 per month.“I was worried about needing severe medical assistance and being financially burdened” Louis-Prescott said.He decided to buy this plan, with several coverage restrictions, and continue under the policy through lawschool at the University of Colorado beginning in August. Steven Louis Prescott, 23 talks about his health insurance qualms, and what lies ahead for his coverage.This individual policy’s drawbacks, however, may be more significant than Louis-Prescott hoped. “I pay hugeco-pays every time I go to the doctor. It costs me something like $175 for a simple visit, but I’m mostlycovered if anything major happens to me.” The policy allows Louis-Prescott to save money on premiums by
  2. 2. taking large deductibles, therefore it covers most major expenses, but leaves out others. As long as he stays onthis plan, Louis-Prescott hopes he will not need mental health care, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, physicaltherapy, or preventative treatment beyond a quota, including x-rays and medical tests in excess of a specificamount per year.Louis-Prescott’s concerns, however, are appeased by the new provisions in the health care reform bill signedon March 23. “With the new health care plan, I believe I’ll be able to stay on my parent’s policy until I’m 26,which is when hopefully I’ll be pursuing employment with a law firm that supplies medical insurance,” saidLouis-Prescott. “It’ll allow me to hop back on my parent’s plan for another three years.” His medical security,however, may not be guaranteed.Within the next six months, beginning with the passage of the health care bill, dependent children will be ableto stay on their parent’s plans, but this may not mean what many young adults are hoping. Louis-Prescott isone of many recent graduates unsure about whether or not these new dependent provisions will include him.David Sherman, 22, accepted a position at a Web start up in New York with the promise of temporary jobsecurity, but without the guarantee of coveted health insurance. He, too, is unsure about the affect these newprovisions will have on his plight. “According to the bill’s provisions, coverage is extended to people who aredependents and are not offered their own health insurance from employers, but, to be honest, I don’t knowexactly what that means,” Sherman said.The details of exactly what it means to be a dependent have not yet been released. Each state has its owndefinition of dependency ranging from only unmarried, to financial dependence on parents in excess of 60percent. This federal law will create its own definition that can include any, or none, of these variables—adefinition that will be released within the next six months, before the new provision becomes active.Then what are the options for young adults if health care reform does not guarantee coverage after graduation?Sherman is set to graduate from the University of Michigan with a BA in English. he will no longer be coveredby his parent’s health care plan come May 1.According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 13.2 million young adults are uninsured, but concern variesamongst the demographic. Sherman does not want to become one of these uninsured young adults, and iscommitted to finding health insurance at a low price. “I’m almost willing to risk it,” Sherman said, “but ifsomething does happen, it’s just illogical. I won’t be able to pay that off.”
  3. 3. Sherman is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and his insurance plan will no longer qualify him as adependent upon graduation. Kentucky’s state law defines a dependent as an unmarried, full-time student, andSherman is one of many residents who face this problem.After asking his parents for help, Sherman turned to the COBRA method first. He researched what it wouldtake for him to stay on his parent’s policy for an extra price.“The COBRA approach sounds appealing at first. Students feel comfortable staying on their parent’s policy,”said Karen Klever, manager at the University of Michigan Health Services Student Insurance Office. “But, inorder to keep that extra person on the policy, employers are allowed to charge 102 percent of what the singlerate usually is.’ State and group rates vary, and can be up to $1000 per month in some cases.Sherman also shopped around for a low cost policy. “It’s extremely difficult for me to figure out whichpolicies are going to be the best for me,” Sherman said. “I’ve been talking to Aetna Student Health a lot, butthere are just so many different options, and I want to be sure that none of these plans will drop me if Isuddenly get into some sort of accident.”His fears may stem from truth, according to Klever. “Some of these temporary plans will terminate yourservice at the beginning of a month if they think you are too expensive for them to keep on. We generally try tosteer students toward quality plans with more reliability,” she said.Sherman’s quest for a reliable plan continues, but he says he is going to keep hoping that the federalgovernment’s version of a dependent includes him. The new provision seeks to decrease the number ofuninsured young adults, by applying options for affordable health insurance, but these effects remain to beseen. Until the true terms have been defined, opting out of health insurance altogether may maintain its placeas the attractive option for many young adults.______________________________________________________________________
  4. 4. The new health care provisions are largely misunderstood according to the Kaiser Family Foundation