About 1 million young adults have signed up for health insurance this year thanks to a provision in last year’s health care reform law that allows them to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, the Obama administration said on Wednesday.
That rush of young adults to sign up for insurance has slowed a longstanding trend: Adults 19 to 25 have been the age group least likely to have insurance.
Census data for last year showed that this group was the only one whose rate of health insurance rose from 2009 to 2010. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the number continued to rise in the first quarter of this year, growing by 3.5 percentage points, to 69.6 percent.
"Given the toll the recession has taken on employment among young adults, we would expect that insurance rates would, if anything, have decreased in this group compared to older adults," the report reads. "This observation bolsters the conclusion that the increase in coverage among young adults is a result of the Affordable Care Act."
The provision was one of the first parts of the 2010 health care law to go into effect. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the enrollment data show the law is working by improving access to insurance for those who want it.