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June 15, 2007

Graduates’ next exam: insurance

While Heather McManus crammed for her last batch of college finals this week, she was also studying her health insurance options.

McManus turned 22 on Wednesday and joined the ranks of the 6.5 million uninsured Californians because she no longer qualified for her parents’ health coverage.

“It’s like, ‘Happy Birthday, now you have no health insurance,’ ” said the Cal Poly senior, who will graduate Saturday.

McManus falls in the age group most likely to be uninsured: young adults. About one-third of Californians between ages 19 and 29 are uninsured, according to the California Health Interview Survey.

The high cost of health insurance adds pressure to new college graduates looking for jobs. Two of every five college graduates will become uninsured in the year after leaving school, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan think tank.

McManus, of Livermore, never thought much about health insurance. She always had her parents’ coverage, and during college, she received care at the Cal Poly student health center. After Saturday, both safety nets will be gone.

“I’m actually really worried about it,” she said.

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Posted by healthinsurance at June 15, 2007 06:34 PM