How the Government Shutdown Impacts Young Adults?
Congress’ impasse on reaching an agreement to fund the federal government for the new fiscal year meant that the government would effectively be shutdown on October 1. Now that the shutdown is in week two, young adults who have not yet felt the impact may be wondering how it will affect them.
Here are some of the ways the shutdown may impact you:
•Financial Aid. Although college students who have already received Pell Grants and federal student loans shouldn’t be affected by the shutdown, students who need the assistance of Department of Education employees may find it difficult to have their questions or problems address. That’s because almost all of the department’s employees have been furloughed because of the impasse.
•University Research. If you’re at a public university, federal funds that subsidize scientific research may not be issued. Federal grants already disbursed won’t be affected, but those that have yet to be distributed will be – at least until the shutdown is over.
•Daily Health. Believe it or not, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) impacts your daily lives, especially this time of year. CDC is instrumental in reporting and tracking the various types of influenza (flu) outbreaks throughout the country. Disruption of in this department could impact flu vaccine providers who may be unsure of the flu strain in their area. Also, CDC monitors outbreaks of hepatitis, salmonella, measles, and other potentially deadly diseases.
•National Parks/Monuments. If you’re planning on visiting any national parks or monuments, you may not be able to. The Department of Interior has closed most of them.
•Government Online Resources. For those who rely on federal government websites for research papers or other information, you may find those websites are unavailable during the shutdown. Many federal websites have the disclaimer: “due to the government shutdown, information on this website may not be up to date.”
Since 1976, we’ve experienced 18 government shutdowns, but only two have lasted longer than two weeks like this one; during the Clinton administration the shutdown lasted 21 days, while during the Carter Administration, the closure lasted 18 days.
Until the House and Senate agree on funding for the new fiscal year and it is signed by the president, the effects of the shutdown will remain and could become more severe the longer it lasts.
How the Healthcare Law Will Impact Young Adults
By now, you’ve probably heard about Obamacare, the 2010 healthcare law that was slowly phased in the past few years and will be, in full force beginning January 1, 2014. But, for young adults, you may be asking, “how will Obamacare affect me?” The answer will vary depending on the individual. Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is being implemented to allow more Americans to have access to affordable, quality health insurance.
One of the key provisions of the Affordable Care act that has been in place since 2010 is the one that allows young adults to stay on their parents insurance plans until they are 26, whether they are full time students or not. This ensures that more young adults, who historically have had little or no healthcare, have access to health care while they are finishing school, or looking for full time jobs.
Another provision of Obamacare forbids insurance companies from denying healthcare coverage if you have a preexisting condition. This is important, because eventually you will need to find your own insurance policy. Without Obamacare, it would be difficult to find a policy that would accept a preexisting condition, especially at an affordable price.
Obamacare is also attempting to lower the price of insurance policies for individuals. So if your company does not offer insurance you will be able to purchase your own at a more affordable price. In some cases, you may qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for the cost of your insurance Nonetheless, some young adults may not be able to afford their own insurance policy. Because Obamacare expands public health insurance (Medicaid) for certain states, young adults could be covered by the state until they can afford their own policy.
So what’s the problem? It all sounds fine and dandy to me… Well for the most part that’s right. Although, there is concern that Obamacare could leave some young adults without insurance, particularly if the state has opted out of Medicaid expansion. These young adults are responsible for getting their own insurance. The Affordable Care Act is especially controversial, because it is requiring everyone to have insurance. If you are not covered by the year 2014 you will have to pay a penalty every year until you get coverage.
All in all, Obamacare should make it easier for young adults to have access to healthcare. The young adults who cannot afford it on their own, are not covered by their parents, or do not have access to Medicaid may be hurt by Obamacare because they are required to get insurance or pay a penalty.
Only time will tell if Obamacare will be successful. But what cannot be disputed is that there are benefits to the law that will help young adults have access to health insurance.
For more information on Obamacare, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform.
Increase in Student Loan Interest Rates Averted
With the signing of the Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, President Obama retroactively lowered the interest rates paid on students loans. Without congressional action, interest rates on these loans would have increased from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
Under the new law, interest rates for undergraduate students is 3.86 percent, while rates for graduate student loans is 5.41 percent. The rates for PLUS loans, which parents of students and graduate students take out, is 6.41 percent.
The rates are tied to financial markets, which means lower rates for this school year. The law is expected to help the millions of students and their parents who take out student loans by saving them hundreds of dollars in interest over the duration of the loan. However, while today’s students will reap the benefits of the lowered rates, students in later years may have to pay higher rates as the economy improves in the years to come.
Although many student loan advisors welcomed the lowered rates, they also see a potential problem for future students seeking an education. Experts agree that this short-term fix does not address the true problem: the rising cost of a higher education.
In future blogs, we will address these important issues. In the meantime, please visit our website at www.futurebuck.com to get more information on student loans and other financial, credit and debt management topics.
Futurebuck Program deemed an “Excellent Resource”
As you may know, we’ve recently released our Futurebuck product, an online financial education program for young adults. In just over a week, we’ve been covered in a few local publications, increasing the buzz about our program. Also, a Military.com blogger reviewed Futurebuck, and gave it a thumbs-up, stating that Futurebuck is “an excellent resource that can help you increase your financial literacy without leaving the comfort of your own sofa.” She also explained in her blog how important understanding financial literacy is, and how it can lead to a financially responsible future.
We’re especially excited to say that Futurebuck has reached 15 states, including the District of Columbia. We have young adults all over the country accessing our course, and improving their financial literacy. Financial literacy is extremely important for young adults, and we’re thrilled that people have acknowledged this fact and continue working to change financial education for young adults.
Futurebuck is an excellent program, because it teaches young adults everything they need to know about financial, credit and debt management. Futurebuck is currently being given away for free, because we think it’s important for young adults to have access to this information. To start Futurebuck for no charge, please visit www.futurebuck.com, click buy or purchase, register for the program, and enter the coupon code “100thanks” when prompted. Enjoy the program and we welcome any feedback from you.