About 30 percent of the nation's estimated 44.4 million people without health insurance are 19-29 years old, making young adults the largest group of newly uninsured, according to a Commonwealth Fund study. In 2005, about 13.3 million people in this age range lacked coverage, up from 12.9 million a year earlier.
The researchers blame several factors for the bump, particularly the fact that many get dropped from their parents' health insurance or public coverage for children when they turn 19 or graduate from college. And when they enter the working world, young adults often settle for low-wage or temporary jobs without health benefits. Low-income Americans are disproportionately affected.
The report says lack of coverage puts their health at risk and can add financial stress to their lives just as they're starting out in the workforce.
For the full report:
- Start with the Commonwealth Fund's issue brief.
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