The benefit for adult children is one of the most popular parts of the 2010 health-care law.
Young adults face a U.S. labor market that is making it more difficult to find work and garner health coverage. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds was 16.1 percent in May, almost double the 8.2 percent rate for the nation as a whole, according to government data.
The health law "came at a really good time for young adults, in terms of the poor job market," Collins said.
Young adult coverage was one of the first provisions of the law enacted. About 71 percent of Americans polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April said they viewed that provision favorably. The health law in its entirety is less popular, with an approval rate of 37 percent, and an unfavorable view by 44 percent of those surveyed in May, according to a monthly tracking poll by Kaiser.
President Barack Obama's almost $1 trillion, 10-year plan to overhaul the health system passed Congress in 2010 without any Republican votes. Parts of the law expanding insurance coverage were then challenged as unconstitutional by 26 states. The Supreme Court is slated to rule on those objections this month, a decision that may lead to a dismantling of the law.
The head of a caucus of 21 Republican lawmakers with medical backgrounds said this week that no matter the outcome, he will try to preserve the coverage for young adults and for people with preexisting medical conditions. Rep. Phil Gingrey, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Georgia who co-chairs the group, said the young-adult provision is "a good policy."
The government calculates that about 2.5 million people under 26 who had been uninsured gained coverage in 2011 because of the health law. Commonwealth's figure includes people who switched from other insurance to their parents' plans.