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Rock the Vote Press Releases

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Chrissy Faessen, chrissy (at) rockthevote.com

Young Adults Killer Health Care Statistics

As the most uninsured age group in the country, young adults have the most to lose from the failure of health care reform and the most to gain from its success.

Washington, DC - July 22, 2009

Lack of Coverage:
  • Americans between ages 18 and 29 are the most uninsured age group in the country. (The Lewin Group / Families USA)

  • More than 30 million young adults between the ages of 19 and 34 (46.8 percent) went without health insurance at some point during 2007 2008. This same age group represents over one-third (34.7 percent) of the entire uninsured population. (The Lewin Group / Families USA

  • Two thirds (66 percent) of uninsured young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 went without necessary care because of costs in 2007. (J. L. Kriss, S. R. Collins, B. Mahato, E. Gould, and C. Schoen, “Rite of Passage? Why Young Adults Become Uninsured and How New Policies Can Help”, 2008 Update, The Commonwealth Fund, May 2008)

Elevating Costs:

  • Health insurance premiums on average increased by 114% from 1999 to 2007, far more than increases in workers’ earnings (27%).  (The Lewin Group / Families USA)

  • Half (49 percent) of uninsured young adults ages 19 to 29 and more than one-third (35 percent) of all young adults report having medical bill problems. (“Rite of Passage Report” The Commonwealth Fund, May 2008)

  • Insurance premiums have grown faster than wages, resulting in less take-home pay for workers, while the top seven insurance companies CEOs profit some $14.2 million a year.  (Center for American Progress)

Lack of Employer Coverage:

  • 56 percent of uninsured young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 are full-time workers. (Karyn Schwartz and Tanya Schwartz, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “Uninsured Adults, A Profile and Overview of Coverage Options”, June 2008)

  • Over half of uninsured young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 (55 percent) work for small businesses, which are less likely to offer health coverage than larger employers. This age group is more likely to work in service sector, agricultural, and construction jobs that are less likely to offer health coverage – 42 percent of uninsured young adults work in industries that have low rates of offering coverage. (Karyn Schwartz and Tanya Schwartz, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “Uninsured Adults, A Profile and Overview of Coverage Options”, June 2008)

  • Young adult workers are half as likely to be covered by their employer as older workers (35 percent versus 62 percent). (“Rite of Passage Report” The Commonwealth Fund, May 2008)