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Most Uninsured Young Adults May Gain Health Insurance

Last Updated: May 21, 2010.

 

Report finds most struggle with medical bills; new health care law will allow most to afford coverage

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In the United States, there are 13.7 million uninsured young adults, and most of them could gain health insurance coverage under the recently passed Affordable Care Act, according to a report released today by the Commonwealth Fund.

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, there are 13.7 million uninsured young adults, and most of them could gain health insurance coverage under the recently passed Affordable Care Act, according to a report released today by the Commonwealth Fund.

According to the report, "Rite of Passage: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act of 2010," the provision in the new law that requires health insurers to extend dependent coverage for young adults on their parents' plans to age 26 could cover 1.2 million young adults next year, including those who are uninsured and those who would switch to more comprehensive, affordable coverage under their parents' plans. And in 2014, expanding Medicaid eligibility and providing insurance exchanges and premium subsidies for families of moderate and lower income could provide insurance for up to 7.1 million and more than 6 million uninsured young adults, respectively.

In addition, the report found that in 2008, substantially more uninsured young adults than insured young adults decided to forgo needed care because of costs (76 percent versus 37 percent) and had trouble paying medical bills (60 percent versus 27 percent).

"The Commonwealth Fund has issued this report annually since 2003, and every year the results show increasing numbers of young adults who cannot afford the health care they need and end up skipping needed care or struggling with medical debt," Sara Collins, lead author and Commonwealth Fund vice president for affordable health insurance, said in a statement. "This new legislation will not only make coverage more affordable, but also more comprehensive and secure, allowing young adults to pursue careers and start families without having to worry about losing their health insurance or falling into medical debt."

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