The Affordable Care Act is having a positive effect on young people, says a new study. Between 2009 and 2011-12, significant increases were seen in the numbers of 19- to 25-year-olds getting preventive care, including routine checkups, blood pressure measurement and dental care.
“Although our study is an early evaluation,” said lead author Xuesong Han, director of surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society, “there are benefits to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extended-benefits provision.”
Researchers compared the change in the use of medical services among more than 3,300 people who were 19 to 25 years old in 2009, before health-reform law went into effect, with more than 6,800 young adults who were the same age in 2011 and 2012.
The study found that since 2010, when the health-reform law began allowing grown children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26, the percentage of young adults getting dental checkups increased almost 6 percent. Routine checkups among this age group rose by nearly 5 percent, and the number of young people having their blood pressure checked went up almost 4 percent.
Experts say this study affirms one of the strengths of the ACA, giving young people the opportunity to maintain access to the care that helps them stay healthy.