KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

One In Three Young Adults Is Uninsured; Obama Health Plan Includes CHIP Extension

News outlets report on the number of uninsured young adults and issues affecting the Children's Health Insurance Program.

"A third of young U.S. adults -- nearly 13 million people -- had no health insurance coverage in 2008, according to a government report released on Wednesday," Reuters reports. "The survey of more than 9,000 people aged 20 to 29 by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 30 percent of young adults had no coverage and were almost twice as likely as adults aged 30 to 64 to be uninsured. … The uninsured rates for people aged 20 to 29 are typically high because their coverage is disrupted as they move from childhood into adulthood, when they may be losing the coverage they had through their parents' insurance or have reached the age limit for coverage under a public program, [Robin] Cohen [who worked on the report] said in a telephone interview."

The recent proposal released by the White House "would allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on a parent's health insurance plan but would not require employers to offer insurance" (Allen, 2/24).

Link to The National Center for Health Statistics report

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's health care blueprint proposed "funded CHIP extension through 2016," The Washington Independent reports. This varies from the House and Senate bills" (Lillis, 2/24). 

Government Health IT reports that "[t]he Health & Human Services Department awarded $100 million in grants to 10 states to test provider performance measures, and to use pediatric electronic health records and other health information technologies to promote quality improvements. The five-year grants aim to improve healthcare quality for children enrolled in Medicaid" and CHIP (Mosquera, 2/24).

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