Carol-Care and Justin-Care: Extending Coverage on a Parent’s Health Plan
By Dori Salcido, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Carol Metcalf’s son, Justin, has a rare genetic lung disease, primary ciliary dyskinesia, but while he needs medical care for it, he hasn’t let the disease define him. He’s thinking about going to law school, or possibly graduate school in international studies. Justin, 23, is able to do so because of the health care law, Carol says.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults like Justin can remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until their 26th birthday, even if they move away from home or graduate from school. More than 3 million young adults have gained health insurance because of the health care law.
That has made a tremendous difference in their lives and for their parents’ peace of mind.
“As Justin’s Mom, you know every mom wants the best for her child and you want them to have a fair shot … a good shot at life and to be able to make their own way and to be able to pursue their dreams,” Carol says. “The Affordable Care Act gives people like Justin that opportunity.”
Justin explains that if it wasn’t for the health care law, all his energies would have to go into worrying about how to get health care at a cost he could afford. Because of his condition and expensive medical bills, living without coverage isn’t an option. Being able to stay on his parents’ plan ensures that Justin is covered and can make his choices based on more than his lung disease.
Without it, Justin says that considering law school wouldn’t even be possible.
“I would have to find medical care right away, because medical care comes first. Without medical care, I’m not here. It’s really that simple,” he says.
And knowing that Justin can stay covered by the family’s health plan for a few more years, Carol says, “is a huge peace of mind.”