Trends in Insurance Coverage and Source of Private Coverage Among Young Adults

NCHS has put a report that provides estimates describing the previous insurance status and sources of coverage among privately insured young adults aged 19–25, using data from the 2008–2012 National Health Interview Survey.  Comparisons are made with adults aged 26–34, the most similar age group that was not affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision.  Young adults often experience instability with regard to work, school, residential status, and financial independence. This could contribute to a lack of or gaps in insurance coverage. In September 2010, the ACA extended dependent health coverage to young adults up to age 26. This provision was expected to lead to increases in private coverage for young adults aged 19–25 when they became eligible for coverage through their parents’ employment.

Key Findings From the Report:

  • The percentage of young adults with private health insurance coverage increased from the last 6 months of 2010 through the last 6 months of 2012 (52.0% to 57.9%).
  • Except for an increase in the first 6 months of 2011, the percentage of privately insured young adults who had a gap in coverage during the past 12 months decreased from the first 6 months of 2008 through the last 6 months of 2012 (10.5% to 7.8%).
  • The percentage of privately insured young adults with coverage in their own name decreased from 40.8% in the last 6 months of 2010 to 27.2% in the last 6 months of 2012.
  • The percentage of privately insured young adults with employer-sponsored health insurance increased from the last 6 months of 2010 to the last 6 months of 2012 (85.6% to 92.5%).
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