In the United States there are 13.2 million young adults that go without insurance. When they get sick they log on to self-diagnose ailments, borrow their friends prescriptions, stretch their own medication for diabetes and asthma and cross their fingers they don’t get so ill that they have to end up in the hospital.
The young are often working low paying jobs. They struggle to make ends meet as it is. They often have no means in order to add on huge bills from company insurance plans.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) says that 35 percent of men and 28.8 percent of women aged 21 to 24 do not have health insurance. They are the most uninsured portion of American society.
Some young adults opt not to pay for coverage even if they have the money. The Springfield Connection reports that Nancy Chance is one of those young adults;
“By the time you pay all the co-pays and deductibles, it’s the equivalent of a full visit to the doctor,” the Springfield resident said. “Plus a lot of the part-time insurance policies don’t offer benefits like dental. I’m not concerned — as long as you’re not doing stuff you’re not supposed to do, you’re going to be all right.”
For young adults will pre-existing conditions the stakes and costs are even higher. The insurance industry has a ‘tough love’ approach to young adults, as soon as they can knock a kid off their parent’s plan they will. That makes for a new client, if the client can afford them. As long as a child remains in school most companies will continue to carry them, but there are rules. The student must carry a certain hour load to be able to qualify as a ‘full-time’ student. There is no allowance for a gap-year.
If a young adult was covered by their parent’s employer-sponsored plan they can apply for COBRA under federal law for 36 months. The gap insurance programs costs roughly $450 a month.
Realistically young adults often have to forgo insurance in order to pay their bills. That means not having a yearly exam to make sure they are healthy, not going to the doctor when they are sick and not having the proper medicines to get better.
There has to be a better way.