An estimated 7.8 million of the 15 million young adults who were enrolled in a parent's health plan last year likely would not have been eligible for this coverage without the health reform law's dependent coverage provision, according to a new Commonwealth Fund survey.
However, the survey also found that only 27 percent of young adults were aware of the state health insurance marketplaces that are launching October 1. Moreover, millions of low-income young adults are at risk of remaining uninsured if the states they live in choose not to expand Medicaid.
The report, Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act: The Importance of Outreach and Medicaid Expansion, dispels the notion that young adults don't think they need health insurance. The survey of adults ages 19 to 29 found that when offered health insurance benefits through an employer, two-thirds (67%) took the coverage. For those who did not enroll in an employer health plan, the chief reasons given were that they were covered by a parent, spouse, or partner (54%) or that they couldn't afford the premiums (22%). Only 5 percent turned down coverage because they felt they didn't need insurance.
"There is a stereotype that young adults believe they are 'invincible' and don't want or need health insurance," said Commonwealth Fund vice president Sara Collins, the study's lead author. "This survey shows that is a myth—a typical uninsured young adult is from a low- or middle-income family and works a low-wage job. In general, young adults value health insurance but cannot afford it."
Stressing the importance of outreach and education to ensure that people are aware of the reform law's benefits, the authors note that as young adults and their families became aware of the provision allowing them to remain on their families' insurance policies, uptake increased, from 13.7 million enrolled young adults in November 2011 to 15 million in March 2013.
Low- and Middle-Income Young Adults Most at Risk
According to the report, while the number of uninsured young adults dropped from 18.1 million in 2011 to 15.7 million in 2013, those who remained uninsured were overwhelmingly low or middle income. Eighty-two percent of young adults who were uninsured for a time in 2013 lived in low- or middle-income households and would be eligible for subsidized insurance through the marketplaces or through Medicaid. These young adults are at risk of remaining uninsured for two reasons: lack of awareness about the marketplaces, or residence in a state that is not planning to expand Medicaid eligibility.
The report finds that young adults who would benefit most from the health insurance marketplaces¯those without coverage and those from low- or middle-income households¯are the least likely to be aware of them. Just 19 percent of young adults who had been uninsured during the year and 18 percent of low-income young adults were aware of the marketplaces.
In addition, as many as 25 states may not expand Medicaid eligibility, potentially leaving millions of young adults without coverage. The poorest young adults in states that don't expand Medicaid will be especially at risk, as those with incomes under 100 percent of the federal poverty level will be excluded from both the Medicaid expansion and subsidized private plans. According to the survey, nearly 30 percent of young adults who spent a time uninsured during the year were in families with incomes under 100 percent of poverty.
"The Affordable Care Act has the potential to expand health insurance coverage to millions of low- and middle-income young adults, who have continually struggled to afford the health insurance they need," said Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal, M.D. "Ensuring that all Americans are able to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act would require that states expand Medicaid and dedicate sufficient resources to educate their populations about the law's new coverage options."
Additional Report Findings
Young adults who said their party affiliation was Republican joined parents' policies in greater numbers than those who said their party affiliation was Democratic. In March 2013, 63 percent of young adults who considered themselves Republicans had enrolled in a parent's health plan in the last 12 months, compared to 45 percent of those who considered themselves Democrats.
For millions of young adults, college graduation is no longer a stepping stone to being uninsured. In March 2013, enrollment in a parent's policy among young adults ages 23 to 25 rose to 36 percent, up from 26 percent in November 2011. In 2013, 29 percent of young adults who graduated from or left college were uninsured or lost their health insurance, down from 35 percent in 2011.
Education level made a difference in awareness of the marketplaces. One-third of college graduates were aware of the marketplaces, compared to 20 percent of those with a high school degree or less.
The Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Surveys of Young Adults were conducted by the online research firm Knowledge Networks GfK in 2011 and 2013, among a representative sample of young adults, defined for the survey as ages 19 to 29. The 2011 survey was conducted from November 4 to 24, 2011, and the 2013 survey was conducted from February 11, 2013, to March 14, 2013. Both survey samples were drawn from KnowledgePanel¯a probability-based online panel that is representative of the U.S. population and includes cell phone only and low-income households that are typically difficult to reach using traditional telephone surveys and random digit dialing (RDD) sampling.
In 2011, 3,438 adults ages 19 to 29 were randomly sampled from this panel and invited by e-mail to complete an online questionnaire in either English or Spanish. The survey was completed by 1,863 respondents, yielding a 54 percent completion rate among sampled respondents. In 2013, 3,530 adults ages 19 to 29 were invited by e-mail to complete the 2013 online questionnaire; it was completed by 1,885 respondents, yielding a 53.4 percent completion rate. The 2013 sample includes 1,052 respondents who completed the survey in 2011, of which 161 were excluded from this analysis because of their ages (30-31). The analytic sample for 2013 includes 1,724 respondents. The 2013 survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3.2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The 2011 and 2013 samples were weighted separately to the appropriate CPS benchmarks for the given year of data collection and are treated as independent samples for purposes of statistical testing.
Mary Mahon | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy