Young Adults and the New Health Care Landscape

A survey conducted by the nation’s first private online health exchange, eHealth, Inc., explored the attitudes of young adults aged 18 to 25 regarding the new health care landscape and the influence that the Affordable Care Act is having on health care costs.

Among the 220 survey respondents, all of which had purchased their health care plan through eHealth, 62% said their monthly premiums were more expensive than they could afford, and nearly three-quarters (73%) said that their annual deductibles were too expensive as well.

According to eHealth’s records, young adults who purchased health coverage through the private exchange were paying average monthly premiums of $146 and had an annual deductible of $4,955. When asked what they thought would be an affordable rate for them to pay, nearly two-thirds said a monthly premium of $100 or less and an annual deductible of less than $1,000.

Shopping for Health Insurance

What motivated this group to purchase health insurance? The respondents were evenly divided among the three potential answers: a third were concerned about the tax penalty they would incur for not being insured; a third felt they needed health insurance, and a third indicated the fear of being uninsured caused them to purchase coverage.

The respondent group was similarly divided when asked why they chose to buy insurance through a private exchange versus a government-sponsored one. A third said the private exchange offered them more coverage options; 28% said they didn't qualify for the government subsidy; and 27% said that the government exchange wasn't working properly.

Attitudes About the ACA

Respondents generally had negative impressions of the Affordable Care Act and the impact it has had on the cost of health insurance. For instance, 63% said that the ACA had caused their monthly insurance premiums to increase and about half said the same about annual deductibles. About a third said they had to change doctors as a result of the new health care law.

About the Respondents

Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported that they were currently in college or that they had graduated within the past two years. About half reported having full-time jobs, while 18% work part time and another 25% are still in school. Just 5% reported being unemployed.

Life & Health Advisor, "Many Young Adults and College Grads Burdened by Cost of Health Insurance," July 19, 2014.

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Post by Phil Ratcliff

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