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Affordable Care Act in Action: Fewer Uninsured Young Adults in America


This blog was written by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and was originally posted on

We know that young adults are the age group most likely to be uninsured and before health reform was enacted, many young Americans lost their health insurance when they left home or graduated from school. This meant that your sons or daughters – who might be college students or in their first job  – were often forced to choose between paying their rent or maintaining their health insurance. A policy in the Affordable Care Act changes this, by allowing young adults to be on their parents’ plan until age 26.

Today, a new report shows that the Affordable Care Act is working. According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey released today, there was a significant increase in the number of 18-24 year olds with health insurance in the U.S. over the past year.

The report showed that the percentage of young adults with insurance increased from 70.7% in 2009 to 72.8%   in 2010.  That translates into 500,000 more young people with insurance.  We expect even more will gain coverage in 2011 when the policy is fully phased in.

Young people sometimes think they’re invincible, but it’s important for everyone to have insurance. One car accident, one slip in a shower, or one sudden illness can result in months or even years of health care bills that can bankrupt the average family if that son or daughter is uninsured.

This 2% increase in coverage for young people came as the number of Americans under 65 with insurance went down slightly. The Affordable Care Act will help provide coverage at a decent price for millions of uninsured Americans starting in 2014, when millions of Americans will have access to affordable insurance options.

To read more about the health insurance coverage data released today, please visit this page.