Reform to significantly improve coverage for young adults

By BenefitsPro


By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

As health care reform goes into effect, coverage for young adults is expected to significantly improve, according to the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2012.

In 2010, 48 percent of adults ages 19 to 25 were not insured at least at one point in the year, a figure that dropped to 41 percent in 2012, the survey finds.

During the time of the survey, 79 percent of young respondents reported being insured, an increase from 69 percent in 2010. The survey attributes this to Affordable Care Act’s provision that children under age 26 can enroll in a parent’s health plan.

The survey also highlights the struggle some have had to find coverage.

While 46 percent of adults ages 19 to 64 lacked health insurance or were underinsured for all of 2012, 41 percent of adults say they had difficulties paying their medical bills or were in debt.

Another 43 percent of respondents say they faced cost-related barriers to receiving health care. At the time of the survey, 30 percent of adults were uninsured or had insurance but lacked it at some point during the year.

There appears to be more gaps in coverage in the last 10 years. In fact, adults who experienced gaps or were underinsured jumped from 61 million in 2003 to 81 million in 2010. Still, there was little change from 2010 to 2012, which could account for the jump in coverage among young adults.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com