Monday, October 31, 2005

Health policy: more young adults uninsured

One-third of Georgians ages 18-24 are uninsured, and private health insurance coverage has declined 11 percent among this age group in the past five years, according to a new study from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

Aside from the immediate cost of providing care for these uninsured young adults, there are long-term implications for the health-care industry, researchers say. The uninsured are less likely to get primary and preventive services, which means they may end up with more advanced and costly illnesses later in life. For those who do end up in a major accident, they could become "uninsurable" for life. "The worst-case scenario is they decide not to invest in insurance and they have a terrible accident and become uninsurable for life," said Minyard, alluding to the difficulty people with major health problems have in buying individual health insurance plans.

And if you're an uninsured 21-year-old who develops MS, what do you do? When it happened to me, I decided to get married and go to law school. So far, so good. If it happens to you, I'll be happy to lend you my LSAT study books.

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