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Third of Young U.S. Adults Lack Health Insurance
Date:2/24/2010

29, the researchers discovered that:

  • U.S. adults in their 20s were almost twice as likely as adults aged 30 to 64 to go without health coverage (31 percent versus 17 percent).
  • Seventy percent of adults in their 20s had a "usual source" of medical care, although only 44 percent of young adults without insurance had such a source.
  • Women were more likely to have regular health-care practitioners than young men: 91 percent of women among those with private coverage versus 70 percent of men in the same category. Fifty percent of women without coverage had a regular doctor, compared with 39 percent of men in this category.
  • Adults in this age group without insurance were four times as likely as those with private insurance and twice as likely as those with Medicaid to have "unmet medical need."
  • One-quarter of uninsured people in this age group did not fill a needed prescription, compared with 6 percent of those with private insurance and 12 percent of those on Medicaid. Women were more likely than men to have an unmet need in this area.
  • About 10 percent of adults in their 20s reported at least two visits to an emergency room in the past year, with women twice as likely to have visited compared with men (12 percent versus 6 percent).

Greg Scandlen, founder of Consumers for Health Care Choices, pointed out that the situation has probably worsened since 2008 as a result of the deteriorating economy, but that there was little new in the idea that many 20-somethings lack health insurance.

"It's always been young adults who are most likely to be uninsured, and most of the people who are employed do have workers' comp and do have auto insurance so they are actually covered for things most likely to happen to them in that age group," he said.

"The implication here is that everyone should see a doctor once a year. I think that's crazy. The whole notion of an ann
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