The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 required employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) plans to cover enrolled members' children up to age 26 for family policies issued or renewed after September 23, 2010 (Section 1001). In this issue brief, we assess per capita health care spending and medical service use trends by young adults (YA), ages 19-25, and other ESI populations in the years before and after implementation of the Section 1001 of the ACA. During the first two full years following the passage of the ACA, 2011 and 2012, YA spending grew at a rate nearly double that for the non-YA adult population. This increase in the relative growth rate of YA spending after 2010 was due in part to higher use of certain health services--most prominently, emergency room visits and mental health and substance use (MH/SU) admissions. The rise in YA utilization observed in this brief may not be all attributable to the ACA. KEY STATISTICS FOR YOUNG ADULTS. (1) 5.4% Growth in per capita spending in 2012. (2) 5.9% Average annual growth in per capita spending (2007-2012). (3) 7.8% Average annual growth in per capita spending for men (2007-2012). (4) 4.9% Average annual growth in per capita spending for women (2007-2012). (6) $2,168 Spending on medical services per capita (2012).
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