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One in Four Millennials Lacks Health Insurance

Millennials Least Likely to Have All Types of Insurance

SAN FRANCISCO – August 25, 2014 – Approximately one in four Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 lacks health insurance (24%), according to a new report. Despite the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all Americans have health insurance, the report found 16% of all adults do not have health insurance. Millennials are 10 percentage points more likely to lack health insurance than people 30 and older.

“A lot has been made of the so-called ‘young invincibles’ who are choosing to forgo health insurance,” said Laura Adams, senior analyst, “This could be a costly mistake, especially because this group has easy access to health insurance. Young people typically pay much lower prices to obtain coverage via the health insurance exchanges and can receive subsidies depending on their income. Plus, they can stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26.” observed that 18-29 year-olds are less likely than all other age groups to have health, auto, life, homeowner’s, renter’s and disability insurance. While some of this can be attributed to living with their parents or having fewer assets to protect, there is ample evidence that millennials are unprepared for potential financial risks. 

  • For example, only 12% of millennials have renter’s insurance. This coverage can be very inexpensive (around $10 per month in many cases). It provides liability coverage and replaces personal belongings if they are damaged or stolen.
  • Sixty-four percent of 18-29 year-olds lack life insurance. The most common explanation was that it costs too much, but $500,000 of 20-year level term life insurance can cost less than $20 per month for a young adult. The second-most common response was, “I’m healthy and don’t need life insurance,” which matches up with the popular ‘young invincibles’ explanation for lacking health insurance.
  • Even car insurance – mandatory in all states except for New Hampshire – is not particularly popular among millennials. Thirty-six percent of 18-29 year-olds do not have auto insurance. This might be because the number of young adult drivers has fallen in recent years, as other reports have found.

Despite all of this evidence that millennials do not have a lot of insurance, most millennials are confident they are prepared for the financial consequences of car accidents, having their belongings stolen, incurring substantial medical bills or becoming disabled. Sixty percent of 18-29 year-olds are either very or somewhat confident that they are prepared for those risks; older adults are equally confident in their own preparations.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:

PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (501) and cell phone (502, including 309 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from August 7-10, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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Laura Adams

Senior Analyst, insuranceQuotes