Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
A new survey suggests that 6.6 million Americans under the age of 26 have taken advantage of a provision in the new health care law that allows them to join their parents' insurance plan. That's the largest ever one-year increase in coverage for the age group.
The Commonwealth Fund tracked coverage among those under 26 for a 12-month stretch that ended this past November. Overall, about 13.7 million young adults ages 19–25 were covered under their parents' plans for that time period, and slightly less than half said they wouldn't have had access to that coverage before President Obama signed the reforms into law.
Even with the boost in insurance for young adults, however, there remains sizeable gaps in coverage for some. Nearly 2 in 5 people between the ages of 19 and 29 were uninsured for all or part of 2011, according to the survey. Worse still, 60 percent of those uninsured in that group reported not getting needed health care in 2011 because of its cost, and half reported some trouble paying off their medical bills for the treatment they did get. That number dropped to 31 percent overall for the age group when insured young adults are added to the equation.
As Bloomberg notes, the expansion of eligibility for young adults under their parents' health insurance plans is much more popular than the health care law overall. More than seven in ten Americans said they viewed the provision favorably in an April, with only 37 percent approving of the reform law overall in the same poll.
Read the full survey here.