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OH College Grad Found Health Care Law Beneficial, Hopes It Stands
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Many young adults eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health care law. Over the past couple years, the law has allowed thousands of young adults have been able to remain on their parents’ health care insurance plans. WOSU talked with one man who saved thousands of dollars because of the provision.
If you passed Reuben Bresler on the street you likely would not guess the 25-year-old had a care in the world, much less health issues.
“I don’t look like I have a pre-existing condition, right? Unless I point it out,” Bresler said.
But the recent Ohio University graduate takes several medicines a day to keep his Type-I Diabetes under control.
And there was a time when Bresler was not sure how he would pay for his Insulin and other medications.
“There was a gap. It was like four or five months before the current health care thing kicked in but after the old one had sort of started working for me that I basically just didn’t have insurance,” he recalled.
Bresler remained on his parents’ health insurance until he finished his English and film degrees. But once he got his diploma, he was no longer covered.
That was the story for many young adults, a situation made worse by the weak economy.
With no job prospects, Bresler faced, on the low end, a $420 monthly pharmacy bill. And that did not include syringes or blood testing strips.
“That was not fun. That was pretty difficult…you know, I sort of told my doctor’s about the situation. And they’d seen it with lots of other people…But they worked with me to be like, ‘alright we’ll try to figure something out. And we’ll hope for the best for you,’” Bresler said. “Yeah, it was pretty hectic there trying to scramble.”
But a provision in the Affordable Care Act let Bresler get back on his parents’ health insurance. The law allows parents to keep adult children on their family policies until they are 26 years old.
“Most people are graduating when they are 22 or 23. That gives them a couple of years to try and find a job. That’s all people really need is they need a little gap; they need a little bit of a chance to get there. And without that, there’s no chance, right? You’re sort of tripping on the starting line,” he said.
The law took effect in 2010, and some states have adopted certain conditions and increased the age. In Ohio, a young adult can stay on until age 28.
Bresler finally found a job, albeit out of state. But it offers health insurance. He said he’s not worried about himself. Instead, Bresler said he’s concerned for other recent grads
“I think it’s important to realize it’s an issue for everybody. And people like me can be a symbol of that. It’s not just for people who know people who are sick. It’s for people who know people who are sick. It’s for people who could be sick in the future. And I think it’s sort of short sighted of people to assume it’s not their issue,” he said.
Whether young adults will continue to benefit from the law depends on the Supreme Court’s decision this summer.