Healthcare Reform Could Raise Premiums for Young Adults

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With healthcare reform legislation pending in Washington that would force young adults to pay far higher insurance premiums, SHOUTAmerica today launched a national, grassroots campaign to educate Americans about the potential impact of this new legislation. SHOUTAmerica, a non-profit group, which seeks to represent the interests of America's youth, has particular concerns over a piece of H.R. 3200 that impacts the current age-related discount young individuals receive on their insurance. Under the proposal, young adults could face a 100 percent increase in their premiums overnight as a result of a new national standard for the age-rating ratio.

Young Americans already comprise the largest group of the uninsured.

With healthcare reform legislation pending in Washington that would force young adults to pay far higher insurance premiums, SHOUTAmerica today launched a national, grassroots campaign to educate Americans about the potential impact of this new legislation. SHOUTAmerica, a non-profit group, which seeks to represent the interests of America's youth, has particular concerns over a piece of H.R. 3200 that impacts the current age-related discount young individuals receive on their insurance. Under the proposal, young adults could face a 100 percent increase in their premiums overnight as a result of a new national standard for the age-rating ratio.

"Young Americans already comprise the largest group of the uninsured." said Landon Gibbs, Executive Director and Co-Founder of SHOUT America. "Young adults want healthcare reform to mean affordable options for everyone, why should they expect any less for themselves?"

Mr. Gibbs added, "This is a more complex issue than our lawmakers are giving it credit for. It requires thoughtful discussion and we are going to get the message out there that the interests of young Americans can't be simply cast aside."

Under current law, young adults in most states receive age-related discounts on their health insurance premiums. These discounts reflect young adults' collective lower risk of requiring costly medical care. However, the House proposal under consideration in Congress would restrict the ratio of a young person's premium in relation to older adults. The proposed legislation sets that premium ratio at 2:1, a departure from the rates that states typically allow younger individuals to pay, which are often as little as a fifth of what older individuals pay with the same health plan.

Restricting age-related discounts in many cases would make health insurance too expensive for young people, who already represent the nation's largest uninsured group. This change would have severe unintended consequences such as driving even more young people to go without insurance and creating "sticker shock" for those considering buying coverage. Premium increases would also hurt young people just starting out in their careers, who typically are less likely to have employer-based health benefits and therefore already have greater difficulty affording coverage.

SHOUTAmerica is a non-profit organization committed to cultivating sustainable solutions and policies that address today's healthcare crisis with a conscience for tomorrow. At its core, SHOUTAmerica is an organization run by young individuals committed to protecting the long-term interest of the country. It is our goal to build a sustainable healthcare system that supports a culture of health, where individuals, businesses, communities and the government all work together to minimize future economic and social stresses on our country.

Contact: Brent Parton
(615) 435-2987

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