One Million More Young Adults Have Coverage Thanks to Health Law

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Posted September 21, 2011

Last week we all got some great news when the Census Bureau released data showing that 500,000 more young adults in 2010 gained health coverage thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. 

Today, we got new data and even better news – the number of young adults with health coverage has climbed even higher.

A new report shows that as of March 31, 2011, approximately one million more young adults have coverage, compared with one year ago.

The CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased to 69.6%, from 66.1% in 2010. This amounts to 1 million more young adults with insurance than last year, because of the health law signed by President Obama. The Census Bureau’s results only included data through the end of 2010. The report released from the CDC today includes data from a portion of 2011.

These data are one more sign that the Affordable Care Act is working - especially for young adults all across the country. We know young adults are the group least likely to have health insurance and while most are in great health, everyone needs insurance in case they experience an injury or illness.

The data released today is also consistent with reports from a newly released Gallup survey which found that the Affordable Care Act has been successful at covering young adults in the first part of 2011.  Gallup wrote:

“The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents' plans appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance.”

These three national surveys show a consistent pattern: more young adults are getting the health insurance they need. of expanded health coverage for young people. This expansion of health coverage sets the tone as we move towards 2014, when more Americans than ever will have access to affordable insurance options.

Content last reviewed on September 3, 2015