U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius launched a new initiative yesterday to teach graduating college seniors about the health insurance options available to them through the Affordable Care Act.
The Act, which President Barack Obama signed into a law on March 23, assures that approximately 1.2 million graduates can opt to stay on their parents’ health plan until they turn 26. In the absence of the Act, those graduates would have been forced to find their own coverage upon receiving their diplomas.
“Americans in their twenties are almost twice as likely to go without health insurance as older adults, making them vulnerable to debt from high medical bills,” Duncan said in a press release yesterday. “We want to work with college and university presidents and campus leaders to ensure more young adults can get the coverage and care they need to stay healthy, even if they are unemployed or looking for a job.”
To that end, letters were sent to schools across the country outlining how university officials can reach out to their students, including posting a new “badge” on school websites that links to information about the law. The HHS and Education departments have also offered to hold information sessions to explain these options.