Survey suggests that self-reported health of young adults has improved

June 17, 2014

Findings of a large survey indicate that since 2010, when young adults could be covered under their parents' health insurance plans until age 26, self-reported health among this group has improved, along with a decrease in out-of-pocket health care expenditures, according to a study in the June 18 issue of JAMA.

Beginning September 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act allowed young to be covered under their parents' plans until 26 years of age. This dependent coverage provision increased insurance coverage and access among . However, little is known about the association between implementation of the provision and medical spending, use, and overall health, according to background information in the article.

Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, studied adults 19 to 34 years of age who were included in the 2002-2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, an annual survey conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study sample consisted of 26,453 individuals in the intervention group (adults 19 to 25 years of age) and 34,052 individuals in the control group (adults 26 to 34 years of age). Overall, the sample was 47 percent male and 74 percent white.

The authors reported that the dependent coverage provision was associated with a 7.2 percentage point increase in among adults ages 19 to 25 years; no statistically significant changes in health care use; an increase of 6.2 percentage points in the probability of reporting excellent physical health; and an increase of 4 percentage points in the probability of reporting excellent mental health.

The researchers also found that compared with the control group, implementation of the dependent coverage provision was associated with a decrease of 3.7 percentage points in out-of-pocket expenditures among adults ages 19 to 25 years with any expenditures. Annual out-of-pocket expenditures declined by approximately 18 percent in the 19-25 year old group, relative to adults aged 26-34.

Results were similar after controlling for household income, education, and employment.

Explore further: Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.2202

Related Stories

Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care

April 23, 2014
Perhaps due to a lack of or inconsistent insurance coverage, young adults age 18 to 25 tend to go to the doctor's office less often than children or adolescents, yet have higher rates of emergency room use, finds a study ...

'Obamacare' helping young adults get health insurance: report

December 11, 2013
(HealthDay)—More young adults have health insurance now than three years ago. And many of them are getting that coverage under a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows them to stay on their parents' health policies ...

Nongroup insurance market lacked stability before ACA

April 30, 2014
(HealthDay)—The nongroup insurance market has been characterized by frequent disruptions in coverage before implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to research published online April 23 in Health Affairs.

Expanded health coverage may improve cancer outcomes in young adults, study suggests

June 2, 2014
Young adults who lack health care insurance are more likely to be diagnosed in advanced stages of cancer and have a higher risk of death, according to a study from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) and ...

Health reform shields young adults from emergency medical costs, study finds

May 29, 2013
A new federal law allowing young adults to remain on their parents' medical insurance until age 25 has shielded them, their families and hospitals from the full financial consequences of serious medical emergencies, according ...

After age 18, asthma care deteriorates

April 22, 2013
It is widely accepted that medical insurance helps older adults with chronic health problems to receive better care. But what about young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, a demographic that also tends to have the lowest ...

Recommended for you

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

Experts devise plan to slash unnecessary medical testing

October 17, 2017
Researchers at top hospitals in the U.S. and Canada have developed an ambitious plan to eliminate unnecessary medical testing, with the goal of reducing medical bills while improving patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.