When it comes to insurance, young people may play

July 9, 2013

One of the biggest concerns for both the fans and detractors of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the participation of young people. The under-30 age group makes up a vital segment of the health care market, and the ACA relies on this group purchasing coverage in order to establish a pool of healthy individuals to keep plans on the public exchanges affordable. 

There has been much worry that young people won’t buy coverage at all, and will opt to pay the fine for not having coverage, as opposed to spending more to buy plans on the exchanges. But a new Kaiser poll shows that this might not be the case. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s June Health Tracking Poll found that 77% of adults 18-25 and 71% of adults 26-30 said that having health insurance was “very important.”

Contrary to the assumption that young people see themselves as “invincible,” only about one quarter of people age 18-30 say they were healthy enough to forgo health care coverage.

While a majority of the young people surveyed do display the desire for coverage, they do not necessarily think that it is affordable. Compared to the 71% who think insurance is very important, only 65% of people ages 26-30 say that health coverage is worth the cost. This is the group of young people who have just left their parent’s plans and are looking to purchase coverage independently, although this group may want health care, cost will definitely play into their decision making process.

But it’s not only young people who are concerned about price. Older participants showed similar results when asked if health insurance was worth the cost, with only 68% of respondents in all age groups confirming that health insurance was worth it.

The Kaiser poll focused on age-specific questions, and it is clear that actions surrounding health care and insurance vary based on age. This survey paints a new picture that says young people may be more willing to purchase insurance than previously thought.

Read more about the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Here: More young adults see health insurance as a necessity

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