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Wednesday, October 24, 2007 9:00 AM

HC411R - Health Insurance for Younger Adults

Debra: This is Healthcare 411.  If you’re under 30 and have chosen not to have health insurance, we have information for you.  More after this.


Debi Thomas: Hello, I’m Debi Thomas. As an Olympic skater I learned how important it was to take care of any injuries I received on and off the ice. Now, as a doctor and a surgeon I know that getting early treatment for many conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis can improve and even save lives.

If your loved ones haven’t had a check-up recently, urge them to make an appointment today, or make one for them. You might just save a life. Call 1-800-444-6472.

[End PSA]

Debra: This is Healthcare 411. Nearly 50 percent of high school graduates who don’t go to college don’t have health insurance during their first year after high school. And 40 percent of college graduates lose their parents’ insurance after graduation. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy

Dr. Clancy: Not having insurance is a problem regardless of family income.  Many young people start entry-level jobs that don’t offer insurance or they’re in jobs that offer insurance that’s too expensive for them to afford.

Debra: Also, many in this age group choose not to have health insurance because they say they never get sick. 

Dr. Clancy:  Young people often don’t worry about their health care, particularly chronic illnesses. However, they’re at higher risk for sports injuries, or car or motorcycle accidents.  In addition, young women who are contemplating pregnancy should consider what types of health benefits they might need.

Debra: So what should young people do about health insurance?

Dr. Clancy:  They need to examine their options and what they can afford by speaking to their parents and other trusted sources.  Also, a new guide from AHRQ can answer questions about health insurance and help find a plan that’s right for them. 

Debra: To get your free copy of Question and Answers About Health Insurance, go to ahrq.gov/consumer.  I’m Debra James.  Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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