Perception of low health risk deters young adult ACA enrollment

January 17, 2014

62% of young adults believe they are less at risk for a major illness or medical condition than the average American.

A recent survey suggests that young adults are not signing up for healthcare coverage because many do not perceive themselves as being at risk for major illness. Of more than 1,000 Americans nationwide:

  • Fully 62% of young adults ages 18 to 34 responded that they believe they are less at risk for a major illness or medical condition than the average American. 

  • Among the youngest adults (18-24), 66% responded that they believe they are less at risk for a major illness or medical condition than the average American. 

  • Less than half (45%) of responding 18 to 34 year old respondents agreed that “no matter what I do, I cannot reduce the risk that I will suffer some kind of major illness or medical condition.” 

Findings were aggregated through the Chase Healthcare Worry Scale, a survey-based tool for measuring and tracking Americans’ evolving concerns about healthcare and the U.S. healthcare system.

In order for the exchange marketplaces to work, young people are needed to balance out the risk pool. According to HHS, nearly a quarter (24%) of overall marketplace enrollees so far are young adults.