New Rules to Deliver Options for Young Adults in Georgia

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Jessica Wilson

Georgia PIRG Education Fund

Athens, GA – A provision of the new federal health care law that goes into effect today will allow 43,500 young adults in Georgia to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26, according to Georgia Public Interest Research Group (Georgia PIRG).

Georgia PIRG marked the day speaking to press on the University of Georgia campus by releasing The Young Person’s Guide to Health Insurance, a consumer guide which offers information about the rights and options available to young people and their families under the new law.  The guide helps young people understand health care terms and coverage options, and also includes an introduction from President Barack Obama. 

As evidence of the importance of the reforms, Georgia PIRG cited the story of Claudia Jankowski. While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Claudia’s father paid into the system and obtained health coverage for her, just as he had done her whole life.  Then, at age 19, the need to care for an ailing grandparent forced Claudia to leave school.  Her health insurance company however wouldn’t allow her to continue with her current family plan (being over 18 and out of school), and so dropped her. Individual plans she looked at were far more expensive than the rates she’d had her whole life, and were out of reach.  The same health insurance she’d always had became unaffordable for Claudia overnight, so she went without it. “With these reforms enacted, she’s now back on her father’s insurance plan and recently went for a physical that she’s had to delay for years,” said Stephanie Ali, Georgia Public Interest Research Group’s program associate

University of Georgia College of Public Health Associate Dean Robert Galen offered the support of the college. “The College of public health supports health care for all citizens,” Galen said. 

Today’s event is the launch of Georgia PIRG’s efforts to educate young people on their new rights and coverage options.  Georgia PIRG plans to distributed the guide on campus and has posted the guide online.