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Young Invincibles: What’s In a Name?

Resource type: News

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By Tobin Van Ostern and Spencer Dixon

The myth still lives on. Health policymakers and pundits continue to call our generation ‘young invincibles,’ the term that derives from the ill-conceived theory that young people choose not to purchase health insurance because they think we don’t need it. The term makes sense, since young people don’t care about health, right?  There’s only problem with that theory: it’s wrong–and we have proof.

Check out Resonate’s infographic below:

The data from the Resonate study tells a completely different story than the myth told by many health pundits. For example, when researchers asked young adults without health coverage why they were uninsured, the most popular reason cited was because they couldn’t afford it, not because they didn’t want it. Three times as many young adults (35%), cited high costs as the reason they don’t have health insurance, in contrast to those who didn’t because they thought they didn’t need it (11%). Previous research done by Young Invincibles and others confirms this finding.

The traditionally higher cost of health insurance and the lack of employee benefits available to young workers has made health insurance unattainable for too many young adults over the past years. But over the coming years, as many as 17 million currently uninsured young adults could be eligible to enroll in free or discounted insurance plans. These changes start to roll out on October 1st.

But to take advantage of these new options, young adults need to get informed about these benefits and get enrolled. Unfortunately, not many young people know about their new options. Almost one third (30%) of all young adults 18-34 are completely unaware that new marketplaces will be opening for enrollment on October 1st.

So, what can you do? First, if you or any of your close friends are uninsured, plan to sign up starting October 1st. Second, be a part of the solution by letting other young adults know of their options under Obamacare. If you could get quality, affordable coverage that could save your life, wouldn’t you want to know about it? With your help, we can take advantage of this opportunity and insure millions of young adults. Let’s get to work!

Young Invincibles is an Atlantic grantee via Center for Community Change.

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Affordable Care Act, health care, Young Invincibles