Many Young Adults in U.S. Lacked Health Insurance in 2002, 2003

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Health Insurance and Youth

More than half of young adults in the U.S. lacked health insurance for at least one month between 2002 and 2003, according to a report released last week by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Reuters reports. AHRQ based the report on the annual Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which collects information from a sample of households on health care use, access, costs and quality, as well as health status.

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"During 2002 to 2003, young adults aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 were the most likely to be uninsured for at least one month (54.9% and 50.7%, respectively)," the report states.

The report also finds that 24.2% of low-income respondents younger than age 65 lacked health insurance for all of the period between 2000 and 2003. In addition, about half of Latino respondents lacked health insurance for at least one month between 2002 and 2003, and 16% lacked coverage for all of the period between 2000 and 2003, the report finds.

More than 6% of all respondents younger than age 65 lacked health insurance for all of the period between 2000 and 2003, according to the report. The report finds that the healthiest respondents were the most likely to have health insurance but does not "say whether their health was a cause or an effect of having insurance," Reuters reports (Reuters, 4/13).

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