One million additional young adults get health insurance in US

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Affordable Care Act has helped increase the number of young adults who have health insurance, as per data released by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased by 3.5 percentage points, representing approximately 1 million additional young adults with insurance coverage compared to a year ago.

The Affordable Care Act allows most children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. No other age group experienced a gain in coverage, and experts agree that the Affordable Care Act made a difference.

“As a mom, I know how scary it is to think about what could happen to your kids if they go without health care coverage, which is what makes today’s news so important,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act hundreds of thousands more young people have the health care coverage they need.”

The data released today are consistent with reports from other data sources, which indicate that the number of young adults with health insurance has increased since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. A newly-released Gallup survey shows a significant increase in rates of insured adults ages 18-25, from 71.0 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 75.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011. And earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau released its results from the Current Population Survey, describing insurance coverage for calendar year 2010, which found that roughly 400,000 additional adults ages 19-25 were insured during 2010 compared to 2009. These results, along with the latest NHIS data, are highlighted in an HHS Issue Brief.

“Overall, these three national surveys show a consistent pattern of expanded health coverage among young adults due to the Affordable Care Act,” said Sherry Glied, Ph.D., HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. “The law helped many young adults get the health insurance they need, and it is continuing to expand insurance coverage to uninsured Americans all across the country.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, USA

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