CDC: Health Insurance Among Young Increased After ACA

Extension of dependent health coverage in 2010 has increased private coverage, decreased gaps

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Since the Affordable Care Act extended dependent health coverage to young adults up to 26 years old, the percentage of this age group with private health insurance has increased and the percentage with gaps in insurance coverage has decreased, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Noting that the extension of dependent coverage started in September 2010, Whitney K. Kirzinger, M.P.H., and colleagues from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., analyzed data from the 2008 to 2012 National Health Interview Survey to determine the previous insurance status and sources of coverage among privately insured young adults 19 to 25 years old.

The researchers found that the percentage with private health insurance coverage increased from 52.0 percent in the last half of 2010 to 57.9 percent in the last half of 2012. Over the same period, the percentage with coverage in their own name decreased from 40.8 to 27.2 percent, and the percentage with employer-sponsored health insurance increased from 85.6 to 92.5 percent. The percentage with a gap in coverage in the past 12 months also fell, from 10.5 percent in the last half of 2008 to 7.8 percent through the last half of 2012, with the exception of an increase in the first half of 2011.

"Since September 2010, the percentage of young adults who obtained coverage through some other family member increased, and the percentage of young adults with coverage sponsored through the employer of the policyholder (the parent or the young adult) increased," Kirzinger and colleagues conclude.

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