Health Reform and the Preservation of Confidential Health Care for Young Adults
Article first published online: 12 JUL 2012
© 2012 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM: Pharmaceutical Firms and the Right to Health
Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 383–390, Summer 2012
How to Cite
Slive, L. and Cramer, R. (2012), Health Reform and the Preservation of Confidential Health Care for Young Adults. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 40: 383–390. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00671.x
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 12 JUL 2012
A major issue facing the health of young adults in the United States is the often unintentional lack of confidentiality maintained in the provision of sensitive health services. Of primary concern is that young adults who remain on their parents' health insurance plans forgo Sexually Transmitted Infection screening and treatment, as well as other sensitive services such as family planning services and mental health treatment out of a concern that explanation of benefit forms from such services will inform their parents, the policyholders. The challenges of providing confidential health care to young adults have become more prominent and concerning following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, as adult children can now remain on their parents' plans until the age of 26. While this change will grant more young adults access to health care services, ensuring confidential care remains a challenge whenever the parent and not the patient is the policyholder. This article discusses these serious challenges and offers potential solutions to ensuring confidentiality for specific services for young adults.