Claremore Daily Progress

Community News Network

November 29, 2013

5 myths about health care's 'young invincibles'

Coined by the health insurance industry, the term "young invincibles" has come to describe 18- to 34-year-olds who go without coverage because they expect to remain healthy. But young invincibles are crucial to making the Affordable Care Act work: The White House is counting on them to buy coverage under the new law, helping to spread the risk and hold down premiums for everybody. Let's debunk a few myths about who these uninsured young people are and what they want from the health-care system.

1. Young adults are uninformed about the health-care law.

Young adults tend to be about as aware of the health-care law as the rest of the population. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in August found that 33 percent of adults had heard nothing about their state health insurance exchanges. That figure was 43 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds and 41 percent among 26- to 35-year-olds. Separate polling from the Pew Research Center found that young adults were more aware than any other demographic that the health-care law offers subsidies for low-income Americans to purchase insurance. However, they were less aware of the requirement to buy coverage.

Young Americans are especially aware of the provisions that affect their own coverage options, most prominently the option to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26. A Commonwealth Fund poll in March found that 62 percent of young adults knew of that program.

2. They don't want health insurance.

Young adults do have the highest uninsured rate of any demographic, with about 27 percent of people between 19 and 34 lacking insurance coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But health-care experts say this doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want insurance, but rather that they are less likely to be offered coverage through their employers. That's because more young people work part-time or hourly-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits. When offered coverage by their employers, about 80 percent of young adults sign up — about the same rate as older workers.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-HB0713-HowardMartin-004.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    The mystery of what happened to a military transport plane that disappeared in the fall of 1952 into an Alaskan glacier was solved two years ago when a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. But it took another two years to retrieve the remains of Airman Howard Miller and 16 other servicemen passengers. Saturday, Miller was laid to rest in his hometown of Elwood, Ind., with full military honors. Hundreds turned out for the funeral and burial services.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • New York to offer free lunch to all middle-school students

    New York's $75 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began last week includes the first step toward offering free lunch for all 1.1 million students, expanding a program now reserved only for the city's poorest children.

    July 9, 2014