How the Adult Mandate Affects Healthcare Spending

AdultMandatehealthcareTotal health care spending increased 0.2% for large employers that offered dependent coverage to children up to age 26. Workers paid for some of that spending through cost sharing and their share of the premium while employers paid for the remainder, according to a report by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires plans and issuers that offer dependent coverage to make it available until a child reaches the age of 26. While employers are not allowed to directly charge higher premiums for the cost of adult-dependent coverage, employers and workers will share the higher cost of health care services through claims payments, cost sharing, and worker premiums.

EBRI found that these newly covered dependents were more likely to incur claims related to mental health, substance abuse, and pregnancy. It has been estimated that 3.1 million young adults have acquired health coverage under the provision. For more information, visit www.ebri.org.

Last Updated 11/25/2020

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