Today, the Commonwealth Fund released their report, Young, Uninsured, and in Debt: Why Young Adults Lack Health Insurance and How the Affordable Care Act Is Helping. This report provides some startling new survey data about health coverage and young Americans. The study finds that following the historic passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), between November 2010 and November 2011, 13.7 million young Americans opted to stay on or return to their parent’s health insurance plans. 6.6 million of these young adults, those out of school or going part-time, gained coverage specifically because of the ACA and expansion of coverage up to age 26.
Although millions of young adults have health coverage thanks to the ACA, those in low-income households are more likely than their peers to not have health insurance or gaps in their coverage. Seventy percent of those with gaps in coverage identified themselves as low income. Of the young people who do not have health insurance, one of the more popular reasons cited was lack of income. Insufficient or lack of coverage puts uninsured young people’s health and finances at risk. Fortunately under the health care law, these young adults will have more affordable options than ever before in 2014, with Medicaid available to those making up to about $15,000 a year, and subsidies to purchase insurance in the exchange. Together these provisions could cover up to 17 million of the young adults who are currently uninsured. The report also shatters the myth that young people think they are invincible. Only 6% of the young adults surveyed actually chose not to have coverage.
Want more information? See more of this report here.