Rite of Passage? Why Young Adults Become Uninsured and How New Policies Can Help

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The Commonwealth Fund

More than 13 million adults ages 19 to 29 lacked health insurance coverage in 2005, according to this report. Nearly two out of five college graduates and half of high school graduates who don’t go on to college will be uninsured for at least some part of their first year after graduation. Since 2003, the report says,16 states have enacted legislation requiring insurance companies to extend coverage to dependent young adults up to age 24 or 25, under their parents’ policies.

The Commonwealth Fund says three national policy changes could help even more young adults: extending dependents’ eligibility for their parents’ private coverage beyond age 18 or 19; ensuring that colleges require full- and part-time students to have coverage; and ensuring that colleges offer health insurance to the students. Free. 16 pages. (212) 606-3867, http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/Collins_riteofpassage2007_1049_ib.pdf?section=4039.