The young and the uninsured

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted July 7, 2008

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Adults 19 to 29 years old represent a large portion of the uninsured in the U.S.

The age factor
Age Non-elderly uninsured
18 and younger 20%
19-29 29%
30-35 12%
36-49 23%
50-64 15%
The income factor
Household income Uninsured (18 and younger) Uninsured (19 to 29)
Less than 100% of poverty 22% 53%
100% to 199% of poverty 16% 41%
200% of poverty or higher 8% 16%

Almost 14 million young adults lacked coverage in 2006. Young adults often lose insurance when they age out of eligibility for their parents' coverage or public insurance, or when they graduate from college. Jobs available to this population frequently are low-wage or temporary and often don't offer health benefits. Young adults from low-income households are most at risk for going without coverage.

Note: Figures for age factor do not add up to 100% due to rounding. All figures are from 2006.

Source: "Rite of Passage? Why Young Adults Become Uninsured and How New Policies Can Help, 2008 Update," Commonwealth Fund, May

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