Poll: Young adults want insurance but can't always afford it


Contrary to popular thinking, young adults do indeed want value health insurance. And they would even buy coverage if they could afford it, says a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Young adults are often dubbed "young invincibles" because of their belief that they won't suffer injuries or major illnesses requiring health insurance. But the poll, released Wednesday, challenges that moniker, given that 77 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 said having health insurance is "very important." And 66 percent said insurance is "something I need."

The problem is that young adults can't always afford to purchase health insurance. About 66 percent of those polled said they worried about paying medical bills for a serious illness or accident, and more than 44 percent said they were unsure about paying bills related to routine care.

"The large majority of Americans want and value health insurance," the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded. "While young adults are sometimes described as viewing themselves as 'young invincibles,' the poll findings indicate that many young adults worry about affording medical bills, particularly catastrophic ones."

In addition, the poll found federal and state regulators have a tough road ahead to educate the public and promote health insurance exchanges. Only 22 percent of those polled have heard at least "some" about the new online marketplaces, while only 12 percent of the uninsured have heard more than a little about them.

To learn more:
- here's the Kaiser Family Foundation poll

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