March 21, 2012
03:44 PM EDT
Tracy Muñoz realized our health care system needed to change the hard way: Her family had to take drastic financial measures to pay thousands of dollars for surgery that her private insurance wouldn't cover. Before the Affordable Care Act, this Norfolk, VA mom worried that her five children would face the same pressures, especially one son who, as a part-time college student, was not eligible to stay on the family's insurance plan.
"What if something happened to him and we wouldn't be able to pay for it?" was a constant concern. "If they don't have insurance, it is just like them driving around without car insurance, you're worried that somebody will get hurt."
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which allows young adults to remain on their parents' plan until they are 26, Tracy has peace of mind knowing that her children have coverage as they begin to make their way in the world. When she heard two years ago this week that President Obama had signed health care reform into law, her first thought was, "Oh my goodness it happened, it really happened."
Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, 2.5 million young adults have gained coverage under their parents' plans. And there are many other benefits for young people
, including free preventive services, coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and an end to lifetime limits on coverage.
Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act is helping Americans: