Signing young people up for health insurance, who tend to be healthier and have lower health costs than older people, is absolutely crucial to the success of the Affordable Care Act. New data shows progress on that front, but there are still millions of young people lacking coverage.
There are 1.3 million more young adults (ages 19 to 25) with health insurance than before the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010. The rate of young people without health insurance has also dropped since 2009 from 31.4 percent to 27.2 percent.
The new data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey's (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The questions were asked in March 2013 about respondents' status in 2012. Previous data from the National Health Interview Survey found an even more robust estimate of the number of young adults that have gained coverage after the Affordable Care Act's passage.
Despite the gains, there are still 8.2 million 19- to 25-year-olds without health insurance. Over 90 percent, or 7.4 million of them, will be eligible for free or reduced-cost coverage once the new health insurance exchanges open on October 1st. According to the CPS, nearly 3.5 million of these young people could be eligible Medicaid coverage if all states agreed to expand their programs, and nearly 4.0 million will be eligible for premium tax credits. T
Young Invincibles is in the midst of a nationwide campaign designed to inform this generation about coming changes and new options. The campaign includes health care "train the trainer" sessions to insure that community leaders are informed about new changes; a website with FAQs to educate consumers and advocates; and a mobile app to help consumers learn about their options and find local healthcare services.