In an effort to help young adults better understand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy teamed with the University’s Student Health and Counseling Center to host a discussion regarding this complex law on Monday, Nov. 18.
During the event, Andrew Peterson PharmD, PhD, Wyeth Dean of Mayes College; and Alicia C. Miller, health information data analyst at USciences, presented data to help graduate students make informed choices about health insurance options once the ACA takes effect in January.
The idea for the event stemmed from Dr. Peterson’s conversations with the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) about people who could benefit from the new law. They determined graduate students were a group who could benefit most because of the large range in ages of students.
“Most undergraduates are still covered by their parents’ insurance plan and the ACA lets them stay on it until age 26,” said Dr. Peterson. “Graduate students have a greater range in age as we have some students who are over 26 years old and are not employed full time.”
Once Dr. Peterson came up with the idea, he reached out to Miller since she is the University’s health insurance coordinator, and the University requires all students enrolled part-time to have health insurance.
The topics covered in the presentation included:
- Identifying the different health plan options now available for U.S. citizens under the ACA.
- Understanding the process for applying to the program and the eligibility criteria.
- Identifying resources for understanding the ACA and navigating the system.
Dr. Peterson and Miller hope the program will equip graduate students with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare.
“We want the graduate students to feel more comfortable with the changes coming up by ensuring they can identify the different options that are available to them, and be familiar with navigating the website so they know how to apply for a plan,” said Miller.
The two said this will not be the last event of its kind. Another presentation is slated for Dec. 16 for the West Philadelphia community. There are also talks about hosting a third event to speak with undergraduate students early next year since it will only be a matter of time until the law affects them.
“We’re excited to talk with the students,” said Miller. “We hope this discussion will have a positive impact on them.”