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States taking action to insure nation's 13.3M uninsured young adults

surance market can amount to a large share of a low or moderate income.

States with laws requiring health plans to cover young adults on their parents insurance until age 25 include Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. Delaware, Indiana, and South Dakota require coverage until age 24, New Hampshire and Utah until age 26; and New Jersey until age 30. Most of the state laws apply to all young adults but laws in Idaho, Rhode Island, and South Dakota only apply to students. Most of the laws were passed between 2005 and 2007; the Utah legislation was passed in 1994, and the Texas law in 2003.

States arent alone in seeking to expand coverage to young adults. Several federal level proposals, including the SCHIP reauthorization bill that recently passed in the House include provisions that would allow states to increase access to Medicaid and SCHIP up to age 25.

State-level efforts to cover young adultsone of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the uninsured populationare very important, and it is exciting to see the momentum in this area, said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. However, most uninsured young adults do not have access to private coverage through their parents plans. For these young adults, extending Medicaid and SCHIP coverage beyond age 18 can make a real difference.

In addition to increasing Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility, the authors recommend continued efforts to expand eligibility for dependents under private coverage beyond age 18 or 19 and that states take steps to ensure that colleges and universities require and offer health insurance coverage to students.


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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
8-Aug-2007


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