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Millennials' Uninsured Rate Soars

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The percentage of Millennials who lack major medical coverage may have soared since 2016.

Analysts from the Transamerica Center for Health Studies are reporting new survey results that show loss of Medicaid coverage and individual major medical coverage has wiped out increased use of group health coverage.

About 16% of Millennials lacked health coverage in late 2018, up from 11% in 2016, according to Transamerica center analysts.

(Related: Millennials Are Learning to Love Life Benefits)

The center analysts based their figures on an online survey of 3,604 U.S. adults ages 18 to 64 that was conducted in August 2018.

The center defines “Millennials” as being people born from 1980 through 1997. The analysts classified 1,172 the survey participants as Millennials.

Here’s what happened to specific types of Millennial coverage use (or lack of use) between 2016 and 2018:

  • Employer health benefits: 50% (up from 45%)
  • Medicaid (or a similar program): 11% (down from 14%)
  • Medicare: 2% (down from 3%)
  • Individual major medical insurance, purchased through or outside of the Affordable Care Act public exchange system: 7% (down from 14%)
  • Uninsured: 16% (up from 11%)

The survey also detected what could be a statistical fluke but could be a sign of the health effects of Millennials’ reduced use of health insurance: the percentage of Millennial survey participants who described themselves as being “unable to work due to a disability or illness” increased to 2% in 2017 and 2018, up from a five-year low of 1% in 2016.

The analysts also found that Millennials have a strong interest in the debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

About 30% of the Millennial participants said they were very or extremely aware of potential changes to health care policy, compared with 20% of the Baby Boomers in the sample, 20% of the members of Generation X, and 23% of the members of the post-Millennial generation, Generation Z.


A copy of the Millennials survey report is available here.

— Read Millennials May Care Deeply About Long-Term Care Benefits, on ThinkAdvisor.

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