Uninsured young people see health coverage as important, study finds

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The finding suggests that "well-targeted outreach and enrollment efforts may succeed in enrolling [young adults] in coverage," the analysis stated.

"The key will be whether new coverage options available through [the Affordable Care Act] will be perceived as affordable and worth the cost," researchers wrote.

Participation from young people will be crucial to the success of the insurance marketplaces in order to balance out older, sicker patients.

While most people will be required to carry health coverage starting next year, some analysts have predicted that healthy patients might choose to pay a fine instead of signing up for insurance, at least initially.

Young people who are less savvy about health insurance may be particularly susceptible to this view.

This is why supporters of the Affordable Care Act, including many state governments, are conducting special outreach for young adults and encouraging them to check out the new insurance marketplaces on Oct. 1.

Opponents of the law are actively encouraging young people to abandon the exchanges, arguing the healthcare law will be too expensive for individuals and the federal budget.

RWJF researchers said that while ObamaCare's federal coverage discounts may encourage some skeptics to sign up, cost remains a key factor.

Thirty-seven percent of uninsured people said coverage is "not worth the money that it costs," while 41 percent said it is worth the cost. Twenty-two percent were unsure.

"Persuading uninsured people that health coverage is worth the cost may depend on convincing them of the potential medical and financial risks of going without insurance," researchers wrote.

"However, this study's results indicate that the majority of uninsured people, including young adults, believe health insurance is important and — given the right price — most are willing to consider enrolling."

The survey data was taken from the federal Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.