Administration urges graduating students to learn about healthcare coverage options

The Obama administration's top health and education officials on Wednesday launched an effort to get graduating students to join their parents' healthcare plan, as supported by the healthcare reform law.

The administration sent letters to college and university presidents and student body heads urging them to remind students of the changes in the law, which enables an estimated 1.2 million young adults to remain on their parents' plan until age 26.

"Americans in their twenties are almost twice as likely to go without health insurance as older adults, making them vulnerable to debt from high medical bills," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a joint statement with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "We want to work with college and university presidents and campus leaders to ensure more young adults can get the coverage and care they need to stay healthy, even if they are unemployed or looking for a job."

The administration is also making available several ways to reach out to students:

• A link to healthcare coverage information that can be downloaded onto universities' websites;

• Downloadable flyers outlining the new benefits;

• Help in hosting student group sessions to explain insurance options; and

• A Facebook page with more information.