1 in 4 millennials lacks health insurance

Here\'s how health insurance rates compare by age group. (Courtesy of Princeton Survey Research Associates)

WASHINGTON – Adults under 30 are the least likely to have any type of insurance. Nearly 1 in 4 is not covered by a health insurance policy, a new survey finds.

The survey done for InsuranceQuotes.com by Princeton Survey Research Associates International finds 24 percent of millennials don’t have health insurance.

Millennials are also least likely to have renters insurance, even though they are more likely to live on their own.

“Millennials grew up with overprotective parents, which decreased their level of fear – and fear is what propels people to buy insurance,” says Kit Yarrow, a financial psychologist at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and author of “Gen BuY: How Teens, Tweens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail.”

The survey finds most people between the ages of 18 and 29 (60 percent) are confident they are prepared for the financial consequences of things insurance would cover, including car accidents, theft and becoming disabled. Millennials had the most confidence of any group except for those 65 and older (68 percent).

While many millennials still live with their parents, Laura Adams, a senior analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com says the lack of insurance could be “a costly mistake.”

“Young people typically pay much lower prices to obtain coverage via the health insurance exchanges and can receive subsidies depending on their income. Plus, they can stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26,” Adams says, in a news release.

The survey acknowledges may in Gen Y are burdened with student debt, but many under 30 don’t believe they need health insurance.

“If they get sick, they go to urgent care,” says Kile Lewis, co-CEO and co-founder of oXYGen Financial, a financial planning firm in Atlanta that caters to customers from generations X and Y.

Other findings of the survey:

  • 64 percent of millennials have auto insurance, compared with 84 percent for all older consumers.
  • 13 percent of millennials have disability insurance, compared with 37 percent of those between 30 and 49.
  • 36 percent of adults under 30 have life insurance, compared with 60 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds.

The survey, done by landline and cellphone, involve 1,003 adults and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

This story was corrected to note that 1 in 4 millennials does not have insurance, per the study.

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