The ability of young adults to remain as dependents on their parents’ private health plans until age 26 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act appears to have statistically significantly, yet modestly, decreased ED use among this population. Among those targeted by the law (young adults aged 19 to 26), quarterly ED visits decreased by 1.6 per 1,000 population following its implementation. The decrease was seen mostly among women, weekday visits, non-urgent conditions, and conditions that could be treated elsewhere. While the rate of privately insured young adults increased following the law’s implementation, the rate of Medicaid and uninsured young adults decreased.
Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine, June 2015.