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A Tall Order to Fill: Enrolling Young Adults in Health Insurance


Young adults age 19-34 comprise 38.1 percent of the uninsured population1 and have been a key target group for enrollment in health insurance exchanges. Health plans are seeking healthier, less costly enrollees to stabilize the risk pool and balance out spending on older enrollees. As the first open enrollment period drew to a close, Deloitte surveyed young adults – both those who did and did not enroll in coverage – for their views about health insurance. What can industry stakeholders learn from the findings to help increase enrollment of young adults during special enrollment in 2014 and in the 2015 open enrollment season?

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Survey methodology:
An online survey of 500 randomly selected young adults age 19-34 years, conducted between April 9, 2014 - April 23, 2014. Respondents were those who were uninsured as of 30 September, 2013 and either remained uninsured or had subsequently become insured through various avenues. The questionnaire probed awareness of insurance related provisions of the Affordable Care Act and attitudes and behaviors with respect to health insurance including decision-making, trusted sources of information, influencers and future preferences. Systematic controls were used for age, gender, race and ethnicity, health insurance status, household income and geographic location. Data were weighted to be representative of non-institutionalized U.S. adults age 19-34 years and to correct for bias from using quotas for the insurance groups and for differences between an online panel and the general population.

1Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Overview of the Uninsured in the United States: A Summary of the 2012 Current Population Survey Report,” September 2012

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