Young adults were among the most likely to be uninsured prior to the Affordable Care Act, but the law’s Medicaid expansion had a significant impact on those rates, according to a new study.
Research published by Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank, this week shows the uninsured rate for people aged 19 to 25 declined from 30% to 16% between 2011 and 2018, while Medicaid enrollment for this population increased from 11% to 15% in that window.
The coverage increases were felt most keenly between 2013 and 2016, when many of the ACA’s key tenets were carried out, including Medicaid expansion and the launch of the exchanges, according to the study.
“Before the ACA, adolescents in low-income households often aged out of eligibility for public health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program as they entered adulthood,” the researchers wrote. “Further, young adults’ employment patterns made them less likely than older adults to have an offer of employer-sponsored insurance coverage.”