Young adults historically faced unique challenges in obtaining health insurance coverage. In 2009, nearly one-third of young adults ages 19-25 lacked health insurance, more than twice the rate for Americans overall. But the nation has since made dramatic progress in expanding coverage among young adults, thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s provision allowing young adults to remain on a parent’s plan through age 26 and its broader expansion of coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces and Medicaid.

From the time the first of these provisions took effect in 2010 through the second quarter of 2014, the uninsured rate among young adults dropped by more than 40 percent, corresponding to 4.5 million additional insured young adults. These large gains among young adults are a major reason that the nation’s overall uninsured rate was at or near the lowest level ever recorded as of the second quarter of last year. Moreover, there is evidence young adults’ expanded access to coverage is increasing their access to health care, improving their health and financial security, and potentially generating long-term benefits for our economy.

Even with this progress, almost one in five young adults remains uninsured. But many of these young adults are eligible for financial assistance to obtain coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces or eligible for coverage through Medicaid. This year’s Open Enrollment period ends on February 15th, so those still without insurance should visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to get covered now.

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Behind the Budget: The Education Program Examiners

On January 28, 2015, in White House 2.0, by Obama Watcher

"Behind the Budget" is a series of posts featuring audio stories from staffers from across the Office of Management and Budget, discussing aspects of the budget process that most Americans don't get to see.

Tucked away in a series of offices in the New Executive Office Building are a group of program examiners who have been helping to develop the budget for months. That means wrangling and sorting through the many ideas brought to the table -- from agencies, from other White House offices, and from the Office of Management and Budget itself. A key part of this year's budget is the investments in both higher and early education. Listen to two examiners in this area describe their role in the budget process.

Meet Erin O'Brien, Program Examiner for Student Aid Programs.

 

"The student aid programs obviously are a huge part of how American families pay for college, and in the budget process, we're working on proposals that make those programs work well, and make sure that more Americans graduate and succeed."

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Ed. Note: This post is cross-posted at the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) blog. You can read the original post here

During his State of the Union address, President Obama noted that “21st-century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. … 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities.”

Today, 98 percent of American companies that export are small businesses, but more than half of our exporters are only selling to one foreign market, usually Canada or Mexico.

It’s time to take action to help more entrepreneurs reach new markets for their goods and services.

 

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