October 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One day before the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s 2020 Open Enrollment period, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) helped introduce legislation that increases access to healthcare for young Americans. The Advancing Youth Enrollment Act would improve affordability while maintaining Affordable Care Act protections and access to essential services; as a result, nearly 5 million uninsured young adults could be eligible to receive additional financial support to help reduce their monthly health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
“Many young people may think they don’t need to worry about a serious health problem – but that’s simply not the case. An unexpected illness or injury can strike anyone, at any time, which is why it’s so important that we ensure young Americans have access to health insurance that protects them from medical or financial ruin,” said Senator King. “By making sure they have coverage when emergency strikes, we can help our young people withstand crises and continue to build their lives.”
“As a young startup founder in Maine, I went without health insurance for two years because it felt like a luxury compared to other pressing expenses,” said Maddie Purcell, founder of Fyood Kitchen. “The constant, low-level worry from knowing I wasn't adequately covered was exhausting. I'm grateful to Senator King and his team for supporting the Advancing Youth Enrollment Act so that others in my position won't have to choose between quality health coverage and getting their careers off the ground.”
The Advancing Youth Enrollment Act would increase the value of premium tax credits for young adults ages 18 to 35 years old, which would result in more financial support to help them afford quality health coverage. Importantly, this protects older adults and those with pre-existing conditions from facing higher costs or seeing their current tax credits reduced. Under the Advancing Youth Enrollment Act, a young person enrolled through the marketplace would see their cost for a silver plan go down by about $55 a month, or about $650 a year. They would pay $98 a month for a silver plan instead of about $153 a month. In addition, no one would lose coverage for having a pre-existing condition, nor would they have to forfeit essential health benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act to make their policies more affordable.
Senator King is a vocal proponent of efforts to protect and improve the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of Americans access healthcare. In May, he announced his support for a Senate resolution rejecting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to uphold a Texas Federal Judge’s ruling that deems the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. In July 2018, Senator King joined a group of his colleagues to introduce a resolution that would have authorized the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in Texas v. United States, and in December 2018 he joined a group of Senate colleagues to call on President Trump to condemn the resulting decision in the case. He has also fought the Administration’s various attempts to sabotage the health care law, urged Maine people to sign up for health insurance during the shortened Open Enrollment period, and met with Maine people around the state to discuss the ACA’s importance to their lives. This year’s shortened Open Enrollment period ends December 15.