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Young & Uninsured: The Essential Chart

Americans between the ages of 18-35 make up the largest group of those without health insurance.

They're the subject of the top story we're working on this week, as SoCal Connected looks at the legions of the young and uninsured.

Great numbers of young people graduating from college and moving into the workforce are losing the health insurance they got through their parents or their school, and not replacing it.

In many cases, that's because employers don't offer insurance. Or, young workers often choose to opt out of employer-sponsored plans because they perceive them as being too expensive.

Many young people think of themselves as healthy, and unlikely to require much in the way of medical attention. But consider these facts:

  • Young adults, particularly young males ages 16 to 24, are at the highest risk of all ages for traumatic brain injuries. (Confronting Traumatic Brain Injury, Yale Univ. Press, 1999)
  • One-third of all HIV diagnoses are made among young adults. (American Demographics, Feb. 1999)
  • Almost one-quarter of 18-29 year-olds are obese. (Commonwealth Fund study, April, 2009)
  • There are 3.5 million pregnancies each year among the 21 million women ages 19 to 29. (Commonwealth Fund study, April, 2009)
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