WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's health care law says almost all Americans should get insurance coverage by 2014. What about uninsured young people who feel healthy and don't have money to spare? Some will probably skip coverage and pay financial penalties that will be much cheaper than insurance premiums. But health care advocates urge caution.
Millions of young people who look into their options will qualify for free Medicaid coverage for the first time. Others can get substantial help paying for private insurance. And new plans will limit out-of-pocket expenses for big emergencies to about $6,000.
Karen Pollitz, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, was glad her grown son was covered under an early provision of the law. He needed $15,000 of surgery after a skateboard accident.