New report: One-Third of Young Adults Lack Health Care

The future of the country lies in the hands of its young people. Yet today more than 1/3 of America’s youth – aged 19-29 – lacks health care.
Often dismissed as the “young invincibles” who don’t worry about health care, a new study from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group exposes a much different story.
Uncovered: How the America’s Health Care Fails Young People paints a troubling picture of the uncertain reality faced by the country’s largest uninsured demographic and calls for reform of the health care system.
According to the Uncovered, Americans aged 18-24 are the most likely group in the country to lack health insurance, with 20 percent of college students aged 18-23 who are uninsured.  Once a student graduates, the number of uninsured spike: among the new graduate demographic—those aged 23 to 24—an eye-popping 38% are uninsured, due in large part to insurers’ practice of dropping young people from their parents’ plans once they graduate.
The report finds that two thirds of uninsured young people go without necessary medical care because of high costs and also notes that medical debt among young people often winds up on a credit card: 18-34 year olds who paid for medical care with a credit card have an average balance of over $13,000. Medical debt is a leading cause of students dropping out of college.
Uncovered also makes suggestions for reform, including allowing young people to remain on their parents’ plans for longer, and creating insurance exchanges and a public health insurance option to give young people more choices to access affordable quality coverage.
Read the full Report

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