By: Hailey Gutzmer, Communications Coordinator, Care4Carolina
Health insurance is expensive, especially for young professionals just starting out in their careers and looking for ways to save money. While employer sponsored insurance is offered in some professions, that is not an option for everyone. Young people often take on work in food service or other industries where employer-sponsored insurance is less likely to be available as they work to save up for school and other expenses.
Many young people have to make the tough financial decisions trying to make ends meet, and sadly there is not much money left after paying rent and bills to cover a costly insurance plan.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 uninsured individuals are between the ages of 26 and 34 years old.
Some of my colleagues have shared that they simply cannot afford health insurance and just hope that they don’t find themselves in a medical emergency in the future that could financially devastate them.
Other friends of mine were just starting to get settled into their professions when the pandemic hit, and many lost their jobs. These friends are now concerned about their health insurance options as they try to juggle a part-time job while searching for another full-time position.
Young people already believe that they are “invincible” and that nothing bad will ever happen to them, so high health insurance prices make it even more difficult for them to see the benefit of insurance. However, accidents do happen regardless of age and not having health insurance can lead to high medical bills that cause lifelong financial struggle.
We need to protect our young workers in North Carolina. How can we expect these individuals to grow and continue to contribute to the state economy if we cannot provide them with the tools to keep themselves healthy?
While closing the health insurance coverage gap will not grant access to health insurance for all young workers, it would provide many with an affordable option for coverage for the first time.
As a young professional myself, I am concerned for my generation and don’t want lack of health insurance coverage to be what prevents anyone from living a long and prosperous life.