Bloomberg News

About 2.5 Million Young Adults Gain Health Insurance, U.S. Says

December 16, 2011

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- About 2.5 million Americans under the age of 26 received medical insurance because of a rule in the health-care overhaul that allowed them to remain on their parents’ plans.

The percentage of people ages 19 to 25 with insurance rose to 73 percent from 64 percent between September 2010 and June, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The coverage provision for young adults took effect six months after the overhaul was passed in March 2010.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million more young adults don’t have to live with the fear and uncertainty of going without health insurance,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement.

The coverage provided by the law is a selling point for President Barack Obama’s administration, which has struggled to convince Americans that the overhaul will be beneficial. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Menlo Park, California, polls Americans on the law every month and said in November that 44 percent view the changes unfavorably, while 37 percent have a favorable opinion.

Previous CDC data suggested the effect of the young adult provision was less, extending coverage to about 1 million people by April.

The government estimated in a regulatory filing last year that insurance premiums for coverage offered by employers would rise between 0.5 percent and 1.2 percent in 2011 as a result of the requirement.

--Editors: Bruce Rule, Adriel Bettelheim

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wayne in Washington at awayne3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriel Bettelheim at abettelheim@bloomberg.net


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