How Obamacare Affects Children

Experts offer parents guidance on health insurance for kids

Medicaid, CHIP, Health Insurance, Nurse, Children, Obamacare, Health Reform

Health reform also includes Essential Health Benefits, 10 categories of services that insurance companies must cover to be certified and offered in marketplaces. They include pediatric dental and vision care, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, and mental health and substance use disorder services. Health insurance companies are not required to cover vision and dental for adults over 19, though, so parents should be attentive to this when assessing plans. Zuckerman wrote that dental coverage boosts checkup and restorative care, as well as better health and well-being. Children's Partnership wrote, "Access to dental care prevents missed school days for kids."

What if your child is growing up?

Youths up to age 26 can consider staying on their parents' health plan versus taking employer insurance or signing up for public insurance. " Young adults should compare the cost and coverage of their employer's insurance against their parents' plans, and see whether their parents' plan will cover them, especially if they're living in a different city than their parents. AAP's McInerny says young adults have more options because of the Affordable Care Act. "In a tough job market they may not have access to employer insurance," he wrote.

Participants also shared personal experiences. Tiffany Jamoralin, health program associate at the Children's Partnership, tweeted, "I'm 25. It took several months for me to get a job with benefits after grad school. ACA allowed me to stay on my parents' insurance."

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