The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

A plateau in young adults’ insurance gains

We already knew that the health law's extension of dependent coverage to those under 26  has correlated with lower uninsured rates among young adults. The Census estimated this summer that 539,000 19- to 25-year-olds gained insurance between 2010 and 2011.

New research from Health Affairs suggests that those numbers may not rise much more, as the growth in insured rates among young adults seem to have plateaued in late 2011.

Benjamin Sommers, a researcher at the Health and Human Services, led a team that looked at the percentage of young adults with insurance over time. He compared those individuals with the age group just above them, Americans between 26 and 34. Here's what his team found.

Sommers and his team also dug into who gained coverage during that timeframe:

Unmarried adults were more likely than married adults to gain coverage, and men were more likely than women to gain coverage. These findings, confirmed by other researchers, indicate that the benefits of the new requirement were greatest for people who previously had limited access to affordable coverage. Single people have fewer insurance options than their married peers because they cannot be covered by a spouse.

Read the full paper here.