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Young Adults Still Uninsured

Recruit Florentino A. Buck, Platoon 1050, Charley Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, begins the timed three mile run portion of the Physical Fitness Test at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)
Recruit Florentino A. Buck, Platoon 1050, Charley Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, begins the timed three mile run portion of the Physical Fitness Test at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)

If you're a young adult between 18 to 34 years of age chances are you don't have health insurance. In fact, young adults are the fastest growing group of uninsured Americans - 15 million young adults don't have insurance an increase from 2.3 million in 2000, according to a Consumer Affairs report.

A lack of employer-sponsored health insurance is only part of the problem. According to a CBS report only 60 percent of employers offered health insurance in 2005. And many young adults are entering the workforce as consultants, freelancers or contractors - which do not provide benefits.

Additionally, most young adults adopted an "invincibility" mindset. Younger Americans believe they won't get hurt too seriously and won't need health care insurance. However, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota found that the number of young adults in need of health care is steadily increasing. The amount of 18 to 34 year olds that needed medical attention increased 9 percent between 2001 and 2005.

"Young adults are not invincible. A ski accident could set them back $50,000," says Cheryl Froland, Blue Cross director of individual sales and agency relations in a press release. "That debt could be catastrophic for them so early in their adulthood."

Insurance experts proposed (in a Consumer Affairs report) that the insurance industry take the following steps to help young America protect their finances and health:

Extend eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children?s Health Insurance Program beyond the current age limit for children 18 years old.

Allow children to be eligible for parents? health insurance beyond age 18 or 19, regardless of student status.

Have states ensure that colleges, universities and government institutions require full- and part-time students to have health insurance, and that they offer coverage to both.

Many states such as Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Utah  have passed legislation to raise the dependency age to make young adults eligible under private insurance plans.

It's important that no one, young or old, go without health insurance. The financial impact of an accident or health problem could be too much to handle. If you?re looking for an affordable insurance plan, visit Military.com's insurance center for advice on finding the best plan for you.

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