Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
Perhaps due to lack of or inconsistent insurance coverage, young adults age 18 to 25 tend to go to the doctor’s office less often than children or adolescents, yet have higher rates of emergency room use, finds a study. These findings are from a study of data from the 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, collected in advance of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which allows young adults to stay on family insurance plans until age 26 and makes it easier for them to obtain their own health insurance.

Perhaps due to lack of or inconsistent insurance coverage, young adults age 18 to 25 tend to go to the doctor's office less often than children or adolescents, yet have higher rates of emergency room use, finds a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study found that of the nearly 3,800 young adults surveyed in 2009, 21 percent had health insurance for only part of the year while 27 percent were completely uninsured.

Related Articles


"The type and the duration of insurance coverage matter for health care utilization," said Josephine Lau, M.D., MPH, clinical assistant professor of adolescent and young adult medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and lead author on the study. "Young adults with full-year private insurance coverage certainly had the 'optimal utilization,' with the highest office-based visit and the lowest emergency room visit rates when compared to those with public insurance, those with gaps in coverage or the uninsured."

These findings are from a study of data from the 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, collected in advance of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which allows young adults to stay on family insurance plans until age 26 and makes it easier for them to obtain their own health insurance.

The study also found that uninsured young adults had less than half the expenditures on health care as those with health insurance ($1,040 vs. $2,150), yet incurred about the same amount of out-of-pocket expenses ($403 vs. $380). Just 59 percent of young adults had a usual source of care.

"Seeking care at a medical office requires more logistical planning and initiative than in the emergency room," Lau said. Having only partial-year coverage may indicate some underlying instability, perhaps job or housing instability, financial insecurity, or other reasons that limit their ability to maintain health insurance coverage, she noted. "All these factors may predispose them to seek care in the ER over a medical office for convenience."

"The thing that surprised me is that only about 50 percent of young adults had continuous insurance for a full year at a time," commented Carol Ford, M.D., FSAHM, president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and division chief of adolescent medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"We also need to become more thoughtful about what usual source of care might mean for this age group," Ford said. Staying under the direct care of a pediatrician or the home-town family doctor may not be realistic when young adults are leaving home or going out into the world or moving frequently, she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Josephine S. Lau, Sally H. Adams, W. John Boscardin, Charles E. Irwin. Young Adults' Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Prior to the Affordable Care Act. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.03.001

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422202053.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2014, April 22). Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422202053.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "Insurance status affects where young adults seek health care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422202053.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins