December 18, 2009
Sara R. Collins, Jennifer L. Nicholson
J.. L. Nicholson and S. R. Collins, Young, Uninsured, and Seeking Change: Health Coverage of Young Adults and Their Views on Health Reform—Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Survey of Young Adults, 2009, The Commonwealth Fund, December 2009.
Young adults are one of the largest uninsured segments of the population. This analysis of new survey data from The Commonwealth Fund finds almost half are without insurance at some time during the year. As they hit milestones like high school or college graduation, they face loss of coverage as they are dropped from parents' plans or public insurance programs. In the current economic climate, young adults are less likely to find jobs, and when they do, are frequently offered positions that come without benefits. Provisions in the health reform bills could help young adults by expanding Medicaid eligibility, creating a health insurance exchange with premium subsidies, and requiring insurers and employers to allow young adults to remain on parents' plans up to age 26 or 27. These provisions could help young adults obtain and keep affordable, comprehensive coverage through transitions from school to work and from job to job.