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For Many Young Adults, No Health Insurance, No Regular Doctor

AHRQ News and Numbers, June 24, 2009

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

Approximately 5 million adults age 19 to 23 in the United States had no health insurance in 2006 for the entire year and 30 percent of them said they didn't think it was worth the cost, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The analysis by the Federal agency found that 46 percent (2.2 million) of uninsured young adults worked full time and 26 percent (1.3 million) worked part time. Some 81 percent of the 5 million young adults who were uninsured through all of 2006 were not full-time students.

The report by AHRQ also shows that in 2006:

  • Young adults who were uninsured for the entire year were only about half as likely as those who had insurance part of the year to have a usual source of care, such as a family doctor (36 percent vs. 70 percent).
  • More than two-thirds of young adults without insurance for the entire year did not see a doctor in 2006.
  • Young men were more likely than young women to be uninsured all year (30 percent vs. 18 percent).

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Characteristics of Uninsured Young Adults: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population 19-23 years of age, 2006.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of June 2009
Internet Citation: For Many Young Adults, No Health Insurance, No Regular Doctor: AHRQ News and Numbers, June 24, 2009. June 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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