Why are so many adult children uninsured?

Historically, young adults ages 18 to 34 have been the Americans least likely to have health insurance, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS indicates the following reasons for this:
  • As young adults transition into the job market, they often have entry-level jobs, part-time jobs, or jobs in small businesses and other employment that has typically come without employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • There is a prevailing myth that young adults don’t need health insurance because they are in the “prime" of their life and healthy. In fact, one in six young adults has a chronic illness like cancer, diabetes or asthma.
  • Many uninsured people of all ages cite the high cost of insurance as the main reason they lack coverage. In 2014, 48 percent of uninsured adults said the main reason they were uninsured was because the cost was too high. Nearly half of uninsured young adults have reported problems paying medical bills.
Recently there has been a positive trend. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010, allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. This provision appears to have had some beneficial effects for this age group: The percentage of young adults ages 19 to 25 without health insurance dropped from almost 30 percent in 2010 to about 28 percent in 2011. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.