How Obamacare is Helping New Job-Seekers
New college graduates on the job search prefer higher wages to basic medical insurance in their benefits packages, according to a survey by the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE).
“Historically, we've seen students place medical coverage in the top spot, but among recent grads, basic medical insurance placed at number four, behind salary increases, 401K, and tuition reimbursements,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
The likely explanation for this change, notes Mackes, is alterations to existing federal healthcare laws—that is, Obamacare.
Health policy advocates agree with Mackes. Rory O’Sullivan, policy director at Young Invincibles, an organization that promotes expansion of health care opportunities for young adults, says that the new reforms are enticing to recent grads.
“One of the likely factors of students choosing higher salaries is certainly due to the ability of being covered under their parents' insurance plan,” O’Sullivan said.
The Affordable Care Act allows adult children to remain on their parent’s health insurance until the end of the year they turn 26, making insurance purchases less of a priority for new graduates.
“We’ve seen a greater outreach effort to prepare for the months ahead, and we want to make sure young people are aware of feasible options that are to come down the pipeline,” O’Sullivan said.
As for the 27-year-olds, or the younger graduates who can't rely on mom and dad, there are plenty of options—especially for those in low-paying or entry-level jobs. All working people will be able to qualify for subsidies from the federal government if their annual income falls between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL). The closer you are to 100 percent of the FPL (about $14,400 per year for an individual), the more of a subsidy you get.
Furthermore, by 2014, Medicaid will be expanded to include all of those making less than 133 percent of the FPL, which will cover up to 9 million currently uninsured young people.
“Students across the country can most certainly expect life to get a lot easier by January 2014,” O’Sullivan said.
Emily Roseman a reporter for Campus Progress.