Millennials do not hesitate to pay their cell phone bills.
A life without a phone means no emailing their boss, no checking their bank accounts, no Googling directions, no online shopping, and no news via social media.
The only thing more important not listed? Health care. (True, there is no app that takes care of all of your health care expenses, such as doctor’s visits or prescriptions.)
However, now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, 3.1 million young adults under the age of 26 will have health insurance by remaining on their parents’ plan.
And for those Millennials over the age of 26, there are affordable health care plans available either via their state’s exchange or the federal government’s exchange.
Specifically, these plans will actually cost about 7 out of 10 Millennials less than their phone bills and under $100.
In fact, almost 5 in 10 single, uninsured Millennials will be eligible for plans in the Marketplace that cost only $50 per month or less after tax credits.
Looking at the spectrum of the American public, Millennials encounter far more life events that require changes or updates in health care—graduating college, starting or transitioning a new job, getting married, and having a child.
Many Americans fall into these categories and have already enrolled in the ACA—they have begun to see why the health care law benefits them particularly during these life events.
Daniel McNaughton, 22, of Orlando, FL, is one of those college students, and he has bought an ACA Gold Plan For $70.
McNaughton has discovered that his first three doctor visits are free and generic prescriptions are $4 for a month’s supply. Those prices fit nicely with this college student’s budget.
“I do not have insurance through my parents because they are on Medicare, so I’ve had an individual plan since 19,” McNaughton said. “It seemed logical to enroll in an insurance plan on the exchange. The prices are a lot better.”
Leslie Foster, 29, is a freelancer always balancing new jobs and transitioning new gigs with various clients. Under the ACA state exchange in his home of California, he has enrolled in a plan that costs only $62 a month.
Health Net insurance, his final decision, is considered a Silver plan of the ACA and has a monthly premium set at $213.68 per month. However, after applying subsidies he can receive based on his income of about $20,000 a year, his total monthly payments came to $62 per month.
“I hadn’t had health care since college, and it blows my mind to have an extensive amount of coverage,” Foster said.
Lucy Kidd, 25, of Sacramento, CA, is one of those Millennials starting a family with her upcoming marriage and a baby on the way.
After enrolling in the ACA, her pregnancy bills will be covered for only $34 per month.
“When I found out that we were approved for affordable health care, I just started crying right there on the couch,” Kidd said. “We decided to do it together because we will be getting married soon, I’m pregnant, and my fiancé has not had health care coverage in the four years that I’ve known him.”
Yihui Chen, 30, is a customer service representative in Brooklyn, NY, and her employer does not provide her health insurance because her position is through a temp agency as she is between jobs. After she enrolled in the ACA, she found out she would only have to pay $64 per month.
Her plan comes with a sticker price of $369 per month, but only costs Chen $64 per month after subsidies she is eligible for as a part of the ACA.
She explains filtering through the website to calculate and compare prices with coverage options was not a quick process, but was time well spent because “health insurance is a big decision, which meant reading through every detail.”
As the deadline approaches for health care plans to begin on January 1, 2014, Americans have until next Monday, December 23 to enroll in a plan.
Many Millennials are still weighing their options leading up until the deadline, such as Dylan Maddalena, 35, of Los Angeles, CA, who could cover his Type I diabetes medical bills via an ACA plan.
“I don’t really know what to do about (those medical bills),” Maddalena said. “So that’s the number one reason I am looking forward to taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act.”
From graduating college seniors to newlyweds to first-time parents to workers between jobs, Millennials have the most to gain from the ACA and with a bill that costs less than their cell phone one, it is no surprise the country’s enrollment numbers continue to rise.