Health care reform policies kick in; insurers plan to counter expenses

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The first of many federal healthcare reform policies went into effect yesterday. This one allows children as old as 26 to remain on their parents’ medical insurance policies. Major health insurance providers have said they plan to counter the added expense.

The Centers for Disease Control calculates that a third of young adults have no health insurance. The first new health care laws that’ll take effect aim to change that. But 21-year-old Cee-Cee Chia says health coverage isn’t what she and her friends have been texting about.

“I think main problem is that young adults like us, we don’t really know that much about it, because they’re completely oblivious to what’s going on.”

Chia is a junior at downtown LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise. She says she’d welcome classroom presentations about how the new health care laws affect young people.

“Talk to a class and go to classes or colleges and just saying, like, ‘Hey, this is what you can do…’”

Chia says she would have come off her parents’ medical insurance policy next year – but one of the new health laws lets her stay on until she’s 26. Another prohibits health insurers from denying coverage to children and adults with pre-existing conditions.

In some states, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan to stop offering policies that cover only children. The health insurance giant says the health care changes have created what it calls “an unlevel competitive environment.”