Raising Women’s Voices

Young Invincibles

Posted in Affordability, State Reform by raisingwomensvoices on February 19, 2009

Young Invincibles: uninsmightymouse2ured young adults who feel untouchable because of their age, or who cannot afford coverage.

In Tuesday’s New York Times Article, For Uninsured Young Adults, Do-It-Yourself Health Care, Cara Buckley profiles some of New York’s Young Invincibles. In 2007, uninsured young adults numbered 13.2 million, or 29% of those uninsured. They are the largest group of uninsured, nationally.

Governor Paterson has proposed allowing parents to claim young adults as dependents up to the age of 29, as 2 dozen states have already done. A problem, especially in New York City, is that the young adult’s parents must live in New York. Paterson’s plan would aid only 80,000 of New York’s 775,000 uninsured young adults.

Those that remain uncovered find themselves in a difficult position. To qualify for Medicaid, one must earn less than $706/month, which is below a full-time minimum wage position. Meanwhile, the average insurance premium for a single adult is as much as $900/month.

As Community Catalyst’s Susan Sherry says, “people are losing their jobs, and a lot of jobs don’t carry health insurance. They’re new to the work force, they’ve been covered under their parents or school plans, and then they drop off the cliff”.

The irony is, those without health insurance are actually encouraged to live healthier lives: eating less fast food, more fruits and vegetables, and taking up exercising.

sara siegel


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