More Young Adults Insured Since Obamacare: Report

Megan Brooks

December 11, 2013

More young adults now have private health insurance, likely because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that lets them stay on their parents' health plans until they turn 26 years old, a new report suggests.

"[S]ince September 2010, when young adults aged 19–25 were able to obtain dependent private health insurance coverage through a provision of the ACA, the percentage of young adults with private insurance increased and the percentage without insurance decreased," according to a data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of young adults aged 19 to 25 years with private health insurance rose from 52.0% in the last 6 months of 2010, when the ACA, also known as Obamacare, kicked in, to 57.9% in the last 6 months of 2012, the brief says.

Gaps in health coverage among young adults are also on the retreat, for the most part.

With the exception of an increase in the first 6 months of 2011, the percentage of privately insured young adults with a gap in coverage during the last 12 months fell from 10.5% in the first half of 2008 to 7.8% in the last half of 2012, Whitney K. Kirzinger, MPH, and colleagues at the NCHS report.

They also say the percentage of privately insured young adults with coverage in their own name declined from 40.8% in the last 6 months of 2010 to 27.2% in the last 6 months of 2012.

The data also show an increase in the percentage of privately insured young adults with employer-sponsored health insurance, going from 85.6% in the last half of 2010 to 92.5% in the last half of 2012.

The findings stem from an analysis of National Health Interview Survey data for 2008 through 2012.

In related news, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that nearly 365,000 Americans had selected health plans from the state and federal Marketplaces by the end of November.

"November alone added more than a quarter million enrollees in state and federal Marketplaces. Enrollment in the federal Marketplace in November was more than four times greater than October's reported federal enrollment number," according to the statement.

The statement also notes that 39.1 million visitors have visited state and federal sites to date and that there have been an estimated 5.2 million calls to the state and federal call centers.

NCHS Data Brief 137. December 2013. Full text


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