Live a better life through community

Read and comment on blogs written by the StrengthofUs team, guest bloggers and users like you on topics impacting young adults. Post your own blog to chronicle your personal story, share creative content or write at length about a topic that interests. You can make your blog private, public or accessible to logged-in users only. You must log-in to write a blog, post comments and view blogs that are available to logged-in users only.

The Affordable Care Act and You

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most Americans to have health insurance beginning in 2014. On October 1st, insurance marketplaces opened for the public to compare plans and purchase insurance. You can find the plan that works for you at www.healthcare.gov.

How does the Affordable Care Act affect me?

Great question! The ACA will impact your life in a variety of ways:

- Under the ACA, children can be covered by their parents’ insurance plan until the age of 26. This means that young adults can be insured through college and while transitioning into employment without worrying about how they will cover their medical expenses.

- The ACA also stops insurance companies from refusing someone insurance because of a pre-existing condition. You will no longer be denied coverage because of a mental health, or any health, condition.

- Mental, behavioral and substance abuse care is one of the ten essential benefits required for all insurance plans. Although the plans differ in what types of services are covered and on treatment limits, all plans must offer mental health services on parity, or on equal terms, with other medical care.

- All plans are required to cover a minimum number of mental health prescription drugs. The number of drugs varies by state and plan.

How do I prepare to purchase insurance?

 Take time and do your research! Make a list of all the treatments and medications you use so you are fully prepared to find the plan that works for you.

When shopping for plans, be sure to compare the mental health services offered in all categories of Essential Health Benefits. Some plans may cover mental health services in categories other than Behavioral, Mental and Substance Abuse.

Learn as much as you can. Visit NAMI (http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Health_Care_Reform), the Young Invincibles (http://health.younginvincibles.org/) and HealthCare.gov (https://www.healthcare.gov/young-adults/) for more information on the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect you.