Many Young People Lack Health Coverage

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  • The good news? The number of young adults without health care coverage in the United States has declined significantly over the past few years, according to a new government report released Tuesday.

    Not-so-good are the findings that: 45.5 million people, 14.7 percent of the American population, still don’t have health care coverage, and 4.9 million kids under the age of 18 also lack health insurance.

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    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics used data on 108,131 people contacted for the 2012 National Health Interview Survey to compile the latest profile on health insurance coverage.

    Of immediate interest was the apparent impact of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s landmark health reform law passed in 2010.

    The new report found that 27 percent of young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 had no health care coverage in 2012, down from more than 35 percent in 2010, according to report co-author Robin Cohen, a CDC health statistician.

    At the same time, the number of young adults covered by a private health plan increased, from 49 percent in 2010 to 58 percent in 2012.

    Health policy experts said the increase is most likely due to a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan up to age 26.

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