SOURCE: JAMA Pediatrics, news release, Sept. 8, 2014
MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of young Americans with health coverage increased after a provision in the Affordable Care Act enabled them to remain on their parents' insurance until the age of 26, a new study finds.
Although more young adults aged 19 to 25 had health insurance after the law was passed, the rate of health coverage among adults aged 26 to 34 fell during the same period.
In 2009, nearly one-third of young adults did not have health insurance. This study looked at how that changed after the Affordable Care Act provision was implemented in 2010.
The researchers analyzed data from two national surveys and found that health coverage among 19- to 25-year-olds rose from about 68 percent in 2009 to nearly 72 percent in 2012. During that same time, health coverage among 26- to 34-year-olds fell from nearly 78 percent to 70 percent.
The number of people who had a usual source of care fell in both age groups, but the decline was larger among 26- to 34-year-olds, according to the study published online Sept. 8 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
People with insurance were more likely to have a usual source of care, get routine checkups and flu shots, and more likely to be able to afford health visits, prescription drugs and dental care.
Neither age group had significant changes in health status, the study revealed.
"Understanding the [Affordable Care Act's] full impact on young adults may require a focus on those who consume more health care, such as those with chronic disease," said Dr. Meera Kotagal, of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues, in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about health insurance.