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New Data: Young Adult Uninsured Rate Grows for Second Consecutive Year

New Data: Young Adult Uninsured Rate Grows for Second Consecutive Year

U.S. Census Bureau data also shows that for the second time in two years, the total number of uninsured young adults grew.

New data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the uninsured rate for young adults increased for the second year in a row, despite years of historic decreases in uninsurance rates among young people since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

After years of steadily declining uninsurance rates among people ages 19-34, the new data shows that 14.1 percent of young people were uninsured in 2018, an increase from 13.8 percent in 2017. The number of uninsured young adults also increased for the second consecutive year, with nearly 200,000 more young people now living without insurance. The overall national uninsured rate also increased to 8.5 percent in 2018, up from 7.9 percent in 2017, meaning nearly 2 million more people were uninsured in 2018.

In response to today’s data, Erin Hemlin, Director of Health Policy and Advocacy at Young Invincibles, issued the following statement: 

“The fact is that the Affordable Care Act has single-handedly cut the uninsured rate for young people in half since it became law. And that progress would have steadily continued — if it weren’t for the Trump administration’s politically-motivated efforts to undercut the law at all costs. 

The administration claims their decisions to defund critical programs and roll back protections would not reduce coverage rates. But today’s census release is evidence of the stark reality: nearly 200,000 young Americans have lost health insurance, and the administration’s callous and reckless actions are to blame. 

While the uninsured rate among young people is still far lower than it was when the ACA became law, this is the second consecutive year that we’ve seen that rate increase thanks to the Trump administration’s constant attacks on the ACA’s progress. By virtually eliminating enrollment assistance, outreach, and advertising about open enrollment, causing premium spikes by cutting payments to insurers, and promoting ‘alternative options’ that skirt the ACA’s consumer protections, the administration is undermining and dismantling the law with no regard for the harm it’s causing to real people.

The administration should finally recognize the senseless damage it’s already caused and abandon its efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act once and for all.”