August 10th, 2009

Young Adults And Health Care Coverage

Mike Samuelson, Director, access2wellness
Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.

As graduates have completed commencement ceremonies and embarked on job searches that they hope will result in a life without parental support, many are finding that they no longer receive the benefits of their family’s employer-sponsored health plan. Adults ages 19 to 29 are among the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population without health insurance, totaling 13.2 million in 2007, according to The Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit research group. ScienceDaily reports nearly 60 percent of employers who offer coverage do not insure dependent children over the age of 18 or 19 if they do not attend college or only attend part-time.

While youth is often considered a time of perfect health, WebMD Health News states that unintentional injuries among young adults, such as smoking and obesity, are on the rise. “Lack of coverage and access to health care services puts the health of young adults at risk, and can subject them, as well as their families, to potentially dire financial consequences, “ said Sara Collins, co-author and assistant vice president at The Commonwealth Fund, in a report on Young Adults at Risk: 13.7 Million Lack Health Insurance Coverage.

According to The Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis : “State-level efforts to cover young adults are very important and will help many young adults as they transition to the labor force. However, most uninsured young adults do not have access to affordable private coverage through their parents’ plans.”

So what can be done to help the growing number of youth who are uninsured?

One possibility is for healthcare providers, family members and friends of young people to share information about assistance resources. There are a number of programs that are available. As someone who has been working with access2wellness and Together Rx Access for nearly four years, I have seen that these valuable, free to use programs can help qualified individuals gain access to the medicines and medical products they may need.

2 Responses to “Young Adults And Health Care Coverage”

  1. Sandy says

    It is unfortunate to see that so many are going without health insurance, especially with the costs of medical expenses these days. When it comes down to it, many don’t believe they can afford health insurance but it is common that individuals may lack the knowledge to find the right plan. Graduates and young adults looking for a new job or career may find it helpful to look into short term plans that can cover them up to 12 months while they search for a job. Most young adults feel like they are invincible but it is usually the unexpected accidents that end up doing the damage on their bank accounts. These short term plans will cover them in the event of a major medical problem that often requires a trip to the hospital. If the job search isn’t very promising and longer coverage may be needed, there are still affordable long term plans. There are different aspects of insurance plans that can be adjusted in order to reach an affordable premium.

  2. Stephanie says

    Small thing, but smoking and obesity are not unintentional injuries (second paragraph, first sentence). The article in WebMd may look like that’s what it’s saying, but the bullet points are separate issues.

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