Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Why the Young are Uninsured

From "Why even health young people want health care, too," by Meredith Simons, on Double X:

But not all of the 13 million young adults who are uninsured eschew coverage because they’re more wrapped up in hitting the bars than hitting the doctor’s office. Many of them aren’t insured because they don’t qualify for employer-based plans: They’re interning, working part-time, or working full-time at small companies, and they can’t afford individual insurance. But they’re uncomfortably aware that if they encounter health problems, the party’s over.

Young women are especially vulnerable to gaps in coverage. Even healthy women need regular access to health services for gynecological visits and contraceptives. A 26-year-old without insurance could find herself paying $800 a year or more for nothing more than an annual gyno exam, some standard lab work, and a prescription for the pill. If her nonprofit job pays $20,000 a year, $800 is a big chunk of change—maybe big enough to make her rethink that annual exam.

One of my favorite teaching assistant's in college walked with a limp because he was hit by a car and neither he nor the driver had insurance. He didn't get the type of care needed for his leg to fully heal.

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