Health Insurance Churning Among Young Adults

Young adults are more likely to experience interruptions and changes in health insurance coverage (“churning”) than other age groups due to frequent transitions in employment, education, and living arrangements. Churning can require a change in provider and reorientation to new coverage, and has been associated with fewer doctor’s office visits for preventative care. This is important because, although young adulthood is generally a healthy time, health issues in areas such as reproductive health, mental health and substance use can arise or peak during this time. Researchers at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies examined the rates of churning among young adults in California, as well as the experiences of young adults who change insurance coverage and seek access to health care during these periods.

Health Insurance Churning among Young Adults in California: By the Numbers

       Researchers analyzed the 2014-2015 California Health Interview Study (CHIS) to document the prevalence of churning, social disparities
       in churning, and the relationship between churning and access to care among young adults in California.

The Voices of Young Adults Navigating Unstable Health Insurance Coverage: “I Feel Very Alone in this Process” 

       Between November 2016 and March 2017, IHPS conducted case studies of young adults in northern and central California who had experienced
       changes in their insurance coverage in the previous year. Through in-depth interviews, the young adults described their experiences with churning,
       including the challenges they faced and resources they utilized to access health care during their changes in coverage.