Young Adults Gaining Health Coverage More Rapidly Than Expected

Young Adults Gaining Health Coverage More Rapidly Than Expected

10/11/2011

 

Young adults, which has been the group most likely to have no insurance, are gaining health coverage quicker than expected since the new health law passed in 2010 began permitting parents to cover them as dependents on family insurance policies.

Three fresh surveys, including two released on Wednesday, reveal that adults under 26 have made unique and significant gains in insurance coverage last year and the first half of this year. One of these surveys, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has estimated that during the first quarter of 2011, there were around 900,000 fewer adults without insurance in the age brackets 19 to 25 years old compared to 2010.

This was despite the deep financial difficulties brought about by the recession, which has left these young adults without a job at a rate nearly double that of older Americans, with incomes descending faster than the national average.

Intent on flaunting the benefits of a legislation that has been heavily criticized by Republicans, the Obama administration credits this improvement to a specific provision in the Affordable Care Act which allows parents to cover their dependents until they reach the age of 26. Before that law took effect a year ago, children usually had to roll off the family insurance policies of their parents at 18 or 21 or upon leaving college.

There were some who belonging to this age bracket who have adopted a stance of “young invincibility,” and have passed up on insurance they can afford while gambling that they will not be exposed to steep medical expenses. Others like Kylie Logsdon, however, credit the provision for making possible her heart transplant in July.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com