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Younger Adults in Illinois Aided by Expansion of Health Care Coverage

AARP Commends Governor & General Assembly for Allowing Dependents Ages 19-26 to Get Covered by Parent's Health Plans

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The face of a broken health care system keeps getting younger -- as health care costs soar, young adults are now the largest segment of the population without health insurance. Governor Blagojevich and the Illinois General Assembly have moved to change that by allowing more people in their 20's to remain on their parent's health plan. AARP strongly supports the effort as a step toward addressing a broken health care system.

"People of all ages are having trouble keeping pace with health care costs, including a growing number of younger Illinoisans -- college students and recent graduates," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "AARP commends the Governor for his leadership and the General Assembly for coming together to address this important health care issue."

Through an amendatory veto earlier this month, the Governor moved to expand the age which Illinois residents could remain on their parent's health plans. The effort garnered overwhelming support in both the House and Senate. Now, Illinoisans up to the age of 26 can remain covered by their parent's health plans.

"Becoming victims of a health care system that doesn't work is unfortunately something that too many young adults have in common with their parents. We need to fix this problem for all age groups," added Gallo. "This step towards reforming health care in Illinois is one in the right direction."

In Illinois, over 300,000 people between 19 and 26 are uninsured. Nationally, 31% of young adults are uninsured -- nearly 13.7 million people. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, the majority of uninsured young adults work full time, with smaller firms who are less likely to offer coverage. One third of college graduates become uninsured during the first year out of school with the majority citing costs as the primary factor (The Commonwealth Fund).

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