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Younger Americans, Especially Men, Most Likely To Skip Health Insurance

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: July 26, 2005

In 2002, about 10 percent of Americans age 18 and over agreed with the statement "I'm healthy enough that I really don't need health insurance," and about 24 percent agreed with the statement "Health insurance is not worth the money it costs," according to a new analysis from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Details from the analysis of 2002 data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) include:

  • Adults age 18-44 were more likely than people age 65 and over to feel that they did not need health insurance because they were healthy (over 13 percent vs. almost 6 percent) and that health insurance was not worth the cost (26 percent vs. over 18 percent).
  • Men were more likely than women to feel that they did not need health insurance because they were healthy (12.5 vs. 7.5 percent) and also that health insurance was not worth the cost (26 percent vs. 22 percent).
  • Hispanics (15.5 percent) were more likely than non-Hispanic whites or non-Hispanic blacks (about 9 percent each) to feel they were healthy and did not need health insurance.

Details are in Attitudes toward Health Insurance among Adults Age 18 and Over, found on the Web at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st87/stat87.pdf [PDF Help].


 

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