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Innovation

A new generation of uninsured college graduates

If you knew your child was struggling, would you help? It's a question that haunts many parents across the country as they make the difficult decision to remove their adult child from the family's healthcare plan.
Written by Stacy Lipson, Contributor on

If you knew your child was struggling, would you help? It’s a question that haunts many parents across the country as they make the difficult decision to remove their adult child from the family’s healthcare plan. While it may seem smart to remove the extra expense, parents fail to realize that their child is putting themselves in harm’s way. Like Jennifer Woodcock. Woodcock, a 22-year-old graduate of the class of 2010, graduated from Salem College in North Carolina. Since graduation, Woodcock began work as a private nanny. Although her perks include healthy snacks and the occasional use of the family’s car, Woodcock doesn’t receive health insurance as part of her employment. Between rent, student loan payments, and food, Woodcock explained that health insurance was a luxury outside of her budget.

"Every time I get a wracking cough or stub my toe, I worry about not having health insurance,” said Woodcock in an interview with SmartPlanet. “I know how easily things can go wrong, but I can't afford it."

Many parents across the country can sympathize with Woodcock. But not all of them want to pay for it. According to a new survey conducted by eHealthInsurance, 38% of parents claimed that they would be unwilling to carry their adult children on their policies, reported CBSMoneyWatch.com. Just ask Cathy Wright. Her daughter Ashley graduated from Miami University this past spring, and Wright did not allow her daughter on her insurance policy.

“We couldn’t afford to pay for her expenses, on top of her health insurance,” said Wright. “As a parent, you have to learn to say no.”

Some other interesting findings from the eHealthInsurance study:

  • 93% of college graduates would willingly make sacrifices or give up at least one small indulgence like a weekly night out at the movies or dinner, or their daily coffee, if it helps them afford their insurance
  • 66% of college graduates think it’s fair for parents to help their children cover health insurance costs for a year or more after graduation

Tell us: What do you think? Should parents choose to let their adult children live without health insurance? Is it the parent’s responsibility to cover a child? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Related link: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/spending/blog/college-solution/health-insurance-parents-behaving-badly/5623/

Image: by Subconsci Productions. CC 2.0.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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