Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that health insurance has become the gold standard in jobs. In the 30ish crowd I run in, “What does it pay?” is not the first question one asks about a new opportunity. “Does it have health insurance?” is.
It matters little whether an employer provides great pay, a pool table in the break room, flexible hours, a company car — the only question that really matters is “Do you provide health insurance?”
It’s become so important because more and more often, the answer is “no.”
Two examples from friends under 30:
1. I was recently talking with a friend who had just started dating a new guy. “So how’s it going with him?” I asked her. “I really like him,” she said. “And I think he’s successful — he has health insurance!”
2. Another friend recently got two job offers – one was part-time retail in an avant garde store she loved. She could keep her crazy haircut and casual clothes and work a flexible schedule in a laid-back environment with a good employee discount on her favorite products.
The other was part-time receptionist work, answering phones in a button-down business environment. But that one, might, just might, lead to full-time work sometime in the next year with — (drumroll please) — health insurance.
She took the health insurance path. Unhappily, because of the hair, but everyone knows you pick the path with the greatest chance of health insurance.
So I didn’t really need this summer’s Kaiser poll to tell me that health insurance is important to the under-30 crowd (which, to be honest, I am no longer technically a member of).
When asked about the statement. “It is very important to me personally to have insurance”
- 87% of people across the board (all ages) said yes.
- 77% of ages 18-25 said yes.
- 71% of ages 26-30 said yes.
Asked whether insurance is worth the money it costs
- 68% of people across the board (all ages) said yes.
- 76% of ages 18-25 said yes.
- 65% of ages 26-30 said yes.
We’re a nation obsessed more and more with our health in a world where the cost of good health just keeps on rising. And despite the conventional wisdom that says all youth are carefree and immortal, the cost and dilemma of healthcare clearly isn’t lost on them either.
(You can read the Kaiser poll results here: http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-june-2013/)
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