Most U.S. young adults say they need health insurance

June 20, 2013 at 12:19 AM

OAKLAND, Calif., June 20 (UPI) -- Young U.S. adults are often described as viewing themselves as "invincible," but a survey indicates many young adults worry about paying medical bills.

This month's Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examined views on health insurance among young adults, the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions.

Among the public overall, 87 percent said it was very important to them personally to have health insurance, 88 percent described health insurance as something needed and two-thirds said insurance was worth the money.

Even among younger adults -- a group many speculated might be resistant to getting coverage under the Affordable Care Act -- more than 7-in-10 said it was very important to them personally to have health insurance, but 4-in-10 said cost was the biggest barrier for the uninsured.

Just a quarter of those ages 18-30 said they were healthy enough to go without insurance.

Roughly half of those age 65 and younger said they or a household member has a pre-existing condition, and a quarter of them said they had either been denied insurance or had their premium increased as a result.

Among those age 30 and younger, roughly two-thirds said they were worried about "not being able to pay medical bills in the event of a serious illness or accident," while more than 4-in-10 said they worried about affording medical bills just for routine healthcare services.

The survey was conducted June 4-9 among a nationally representative sample of 1,505 U.S. adults. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

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