Study: Half of younger uninsured are voluntary

August 7, 2009

Almost half of all uninsured U.S. citizens younger than 65 earn enough to afford health insurance but voluntarily don't purchase it, according to research by a Washington, D.C. think tank.

Almost half of all uninsured U.S. citizens younger than 65 earn enough to afford health insurance but voluntarily don't purchase it, according to research by a Washington, D.C. think tank.

The study, from the Employment Policies Institute, contends that 16 million uninsured Americans aged 18 to 64-or about 43 percent of that age group-earn 2.5 times the federal poverty level and could likely afford health coverage.

The authors say a U.S. Census Bureau pronouncement that 47 million Americans lack health insurance leads to the erroneous assumption that those without coverage can't afford it or aren't obtaining healthcare.