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Health reform essential to young adults: Nearly half can't afford needed health care
Date:5/25/2011

New York, NY, May 26, 2011Young adults ages 19-29 are struggling to get the health care they need more than almost any other age group, demonstrating the need for Affordable Care Act provisions, some already in place, that will expand health insurance and make it more affordable, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The report found that in 2010, 45 percent of young adults couldn't afford the care they needed, meaning they didn't fill a prescription, didn't go to the doctor when they were sick, or skipped a test, treatment, or follow-up visit, up from 32 percent who went without needed care because of cost in 2001.

The Affordable Care Act is already making a difference for young adults. Early reports by five national insurance carriers indicate that more than 600,000 young adults have obtained new insurance coverage since a key provision allowing them to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 went into effect in 2010. The authors say that number is certain to climb through the summer as young adults graduate from high school and college and more employers open enrollment to this age group. Young adults will see the biggest benefits from health reform in 2014 when expanded Medicaid coverage begins and health insurance exchanges with premium subsidies for private plans are launched, providing nearly universal coverage for the nearly 15 million 19- to 29-year-olds who are uninsured.

"This is not an easy time for young adultsthey are struggling to find employment in a difficult job market, and are among the age groups hardest hit by rising health care costs," said Commonwealth Fund Vice President and lead report author, Sara Collins. "But the Affordable Care Act has made things better for hundreds of thousands of young people, including this year's college graduates many of whom can remain on or join their parents' plans until they find a job that provides health insurance. In the past these young people would have had t
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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