'Do-it-yourself' healthcare a problem among uninsureds

According to research conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, young adults comprise the nation's largest group of uninsureds; in 2007 alone, 13.2 million young adults were without insurance. An article in The New York Times chronicles how many of those people are dealing with that dilemma, which is to say, they aren't. 

"Do-it-yourself" solutions to health problems are becoming more of the norm for uninsured young adults, oftentimes because medical care is simply too expensive. For example, Nicole Polec, a 28-year-old freelance photographer living in Brooklyn who suffers from ADHD, receives Ritalin under the table from one of her clients as procurement because her line of work doesn't provide her health insurance, and individual, independent coverage is simply too expensive. 

While New York Gov. David Patterson is attempting to get legislation passed in his state that would allow uninsured 20-somethings to remain on their parents' insurance policies through age 29 (several states already have such a policy in place), that still would only cover a fraction of those affected (not to mention the policy only works if both the children and parents live in the same state). 

Furthermore, Medicaid, at least in New York, isn't really an option, because in order to qualify an adult must earn less than $706 a week; that amount is less than what a full-time minimum-wage worker earns. 

While WebMD and a healthier lifestyle are stop-gaps, ultimately, this seems to be a problem that isn't going away anytime soon. 

For more:
- read this New York Times article

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