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Young adults can face a confusing path to health insurance

The Obama administration is making a push to get young adults covered on the health insurance marketplaces, both for their own good and that of the marketplaces. The insurance exchanges need healthy people to balance sicker ones in the risk pool.

Despite beefed-up outreach planned for the coming months, several factors may throw a wrench into enrollment plans for young people.

To start with, the transition from children's Medicaid to adult coverage can be bumpy. Nineteen is the age at which lower-income young adults are generally no longer eligible to be covered as children by the Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program. Options for them include moving to adult Medicaid in states that have expanded coverage to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,000), or buying a subsidized plan on the health insurance marketplace.


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