Health reform impacts students differently

Policy makers discussed MNsure at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Wednesday.
Brian Beutner, far right, chair of the MNsure Board of Directors, speaks about the Affordable Care Act at the Humphrey School at the University on Wednesday. This public forum featured national experts and local politicians to discuss how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect Minnesota.
By
  • Alexa Billadeau
September 05, 2013

Minnesotans will be able to sign up for health plans and compare premium rates on a new online marketplace starting in October.

State leaders, professors and others weighed the pros and cons of the MNsure health insurance exchange during a panel discussion at the University of Minnesota Wednesday.

“Health reform is going to be a mixed bag for students,” political science professor Larry Jacobs said.

Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center Director John Holahan said young people care about having insurance overall, and students could potentially benefit from the new
marketplace.

“They’ll have access to decent lower cost health plans,” he said. “You might have subsidies if your income is low because you’re just starting out in a career, so I think there’s more opportunities to have health insurance.”

Jacobs said if a student enters into an internship right after graduating and doesn’t have a lot of money, this will be a good deal.

But students with higher incomes, he said, might not benefit from health reform.

“If you’re 250 percent above the poverty line . . . you’re going to start to see higher premium costs than you would have seen,” Jacobs said.

Many students are going to be covered through their parents’ insurance until they are 26, he said.

“Great deal up to 26, pretty good deal if you’re low income, and not such a great deal if you’re healthy and two-and-a-half times the poverty level,” Jacobs said. 

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