Although young adults comprise 17 percent of the under-65 population, they account for 30 percent of the uninsured non-elderly population. The instability of coverage puts them at risk for poor health: More than half (57%) of young adults who lack health insurance reported they had gone without needed health care because of cost-- including failing to fill a prescription, not seeing a doctor or specialist when needed, or skipping a recommended medical test or treatment. Uninsured young adults also face financial burdens, with 46% reporting that they were paying off medical debt or had trouble paying medical bills.
"There are both health and financial consequences when young adults who are just starting out in the workforce or entering college lose their health insurance ," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Program Officer Sara Collins, lead author of the study. "Policy changes such as increasing the age of eligibility for public programs and continued parental coverage would stabilize insurance among young adults and ease their transition to adulthood."
Young adults who are not in school full-time are more likely to go without coverage. Forty percent of part-time and non-students ages 19 to 23 were uninsured compared with 20 percent of full-time students in the same age group.
Young adults from low-income households are most at risk. Over half (54%) of young adults ages 19 to 29 under the federal poverty level are uninsured and 42 percent of those between 100
Contact: Mary Mahon