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Nearly A Third Of Millennials Travelled Uninsured Last Year

Millennials1 are most likely to put themselves at risk of sky high medical bills by not taking out travel insurance, according to new research by ABTA – The Travel Association. People aged 18- 34 who had holidayed abroad in the past 12 months are the least likely of all age groups to take out cover, with 31% taking a trip abroad uninsured2. Worryingly, only 16% of 18-34 year old holidaymakers strongly agreed that travel insurance is important for any holiday (regardless of whether it is abroad or in the UK), far below the national average of 26%.

The top reason for not buying travel insurance among younger people who had travelled without it is the belief that they don’t need it, this was true for almost half (46%) of 18-34 year olds. Despite the wide reporting of incidents abroad which leave travellers with huge medical bills, 38% of 18-34 year olds stated it was a risk they were prepared to take, while one in five (22%) said they forgot to buy insurance.

Confusion about European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) remains among 18-34 year olds, a quarter of those who had travelled (25%) now think they don’t need insurance in Europe when travelling with an EHIC compared to 22% in a similar survey last year3. They are also the most likely of age groups to think travel insurance is unnecessary because the UK Government will pay for their treatment if they become ill abroad – with one in ten (10%) expecting it would do so.                                                                 

More generally, the figures2 show that 22% of people who have travelled abroad in the past year did so without travel insurance. Across Britain, there is better understanding of the role of the Government, only 7% of people think the UK Government will pay for treatment abroad and 16% think they don’t need insurance in Europe if they have an EHIC card. These figures were 11% and 14% in a similar survey3 last year.

Additionally, ABTA is encouraging all consumers to take out insurance at the time of booking their holiday. This means they are covered should they need to cancel before they travel, (for reasons such as family bereavement, pregnancy or jury service) avoiding costly cancellation fees.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said, “As we head into the summer season, it is worrying to see younger people continuing to travel abroad without appropriate insurance, as well as a growing lack of awareness about the function of an EHIC card. Every year, we see cases of young people falling into difficulty after travelling without insurance. The risks being undertaken are great, and the costs of not being insured could be many thousands of pounds.”

1 – ABTA defines millennials as those between the ages of 18 and 34

2 – All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2031 adults of which 261 were aged 18-34. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 10th May 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

3 – Comparison to previous year’s figures refer to consumer research, conducted by Arkenford Ltd ( who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2015. Questions may vary slightly from the questions asked by YouGov in May 2015

Nearly A Third Of Millennials Travelled Uninsured Last Year


Uninsured Texans Say Cost Of Health Insurance Too High

Almost 70% of uninsured Texans said the high cost of health insurance is the reason they remain uninsured, according to a report released by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF). The report found less than 20 percent of uninsured Texans said they simply don't want health insurance.

Previous studies by the Baker Institute and EHF showed almost 20 percent of adult Texans are uninsured. This latest report shows cost was cited as the primary reason across all ethnic groups, income levels and ages for not having health insurance. Researchers found just 6 percent of uninsured Texans said a lack of information about health insurance options prevented them from becoming insured.

"An important finding of this survey is there's no significant information barrier for Texans who still don't have health insurance," said Elena Marks, EHF's president and CEO and a nonresident health-policy fellow at the Baker Institute. "Just two years ago, it was a much different story. As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage options went into effect, lack of information about the law and the new health insurance options was widespread."

Funding from the federal government, some local governments and philanthropy supported successful efforts to educate the public about the ACA health insurance marketplace plans, Marks said.

"More than 1 million eligible Texans enrolled in health insurance through those plans," Marks said. "The significant drop in the state's uninsured rate is not surprising in light of those efforts. But as this latest report shows, Texas still has a long road ahead to be able to benefit from ACA coverage opportunities. Medicaid expansion alone would allow more than 1 million additional Texans to have health insurance."

Researchers found that cost was cited as a prohibiting factor of getting health insurance slightly more often among the oldest (ages 50-64) and youngest (ages 18-30) groups than the middle-aged (ages 31-49) group -- 75 percent compared with 64 percent.

"Premiums are on average higher for older groups than their younger counterparts, which would make affordability a more significant issue," said Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at the Baker Institute and director of the institute's Center for Health and Biosciences, a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "Overall, young people earn less than older people, so even well-priced insurance plans seem less affordable."

The report also found 27 percent of uninsured adults between the ages of 31 to 49 said they did not want health insurance. This rate was more than double that of older and younger groups in Texas.

The report is the 18th in a series on the implementation of the ACA in Texas co-authored by Marks and Ho.

The Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) is a quarterly survey of adults ages 18-64 that began in 2013. This report is a summary of data extracted from the HRMS surveys in Texas administered between September 2013 and September 2015.

The HRMS is designed to provide timely information on implementation issues under the ACA and to document changes in health-insurance coverage and related health outcomes. The Baker Institute and EHF are partnering to fund and report on key factors about Texans obtained from an expanded, representative sample of Texas residents (HRMS-Texas).

The HRMS was developed by the Urban Institute, conducted by GfK and jointly funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Urban Institute. The analyses and conclusions based on HRMS-Texas are those of the authors and do not represent the view of the Urban Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or the Ford Foundation.


ABTA Report Reveals One In Five Still Travelling Uninsured

ABTA is warning travellers about the dangers of travelling overseas uninsured as new ABTA research* has found that one in five holidaymakers (20%) are still travelling overseas uninsured. Holidaymakers travelling uninsured run the risk of substantial medical bills which can run into thousands of pounds, particularly if an air ambulance is required to fly them home.

The numbers travelling overseas uninsured are similar to last year’s figures, when 22% travelled overseas uninsured, however there has been a big rise in young holidaymakers travelling uninsured. A third (33%) of 16-24 year olds are travelling uninsured, up from 22% in 2014. A third (32%) of 25-34 year olds are also travelling uninsured, making these two age groups the most at risk should something go wrong.

Confusion amongst young holidaymakers over what a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers may be partly responsible for them not taking out insurance. Over one in five (22%) of 16-24 year olds believes that they don’t need travel insurance because they have an EHIC. While EHICs, which need to be renewed every five years, will give access to emergency state medical care throughout most of Europe, ABTA would caution that an EHIC card is not a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs will not cover the cost of repatriation to the UK in an air ambulance, private medical care or additional expenses, such as accommodation for family staying in resort.

Financial constraints may also be responsible for the increase in numbers travelling uninsured, with 30% of all respondents with children saying that cost is the principal reason they don’t take out travel insurance.

There does appear to be growing awareness, however, that the Government will not foot the bill in a medical emergency. Only 11% now think that the Government will settle their medical bills, down from 14% in 2014. This message is also getting through to the younger generation with 16% of 16-24 year olds believing this, down from 19% in 2014, and a further 19% of 25-34 year olds, down from 23% in 2014.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “It is a real concern that we see so many travellers telling us that they have recently gone overseas without travel insurance. Every year we come across tragic incidents of people having accidents or falling ill overseas without travel insurance and then having to pay bills which can quickly run into thousands of pounds. Often they are younger travellers and their families are left with the burden of having to pick up the bill. Whatever your financial circumstances may be, avoiding taking out travel insurance is a very false economy.”

* Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd ( who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2003 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2015. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2015.


UPMC Health Plan Launches Products on the Health Insurance Marketplace

UPMC Health Plan will offer a wide variety of health plans for individuals residing in western Pennsylvania through the newly created Health Insurance Marketplace.

All of UPMC Health Plan's health insurance plans will offer a network of excellent community physicians and hospitals as well as the top-ranked UPMC physicians and UPMC hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"UPMC Health Plan is proud to offer high-quality plans that offer access to the best doctors and hospitals at affordable prices," said Diane P. Holder, President and CEO, UPMC Health Plan. "We listened to what consumers wanted, and they asked for plans that give them access to UPMC as well as the ability to obtain affordable, predictable out-of-pocket expenses. We are committed to offering long-term value for the region."

There are three things that most people need to look at when they buy a health insurance plan: the monthly premium; the doctors and hospitals included in the network; and the additional costs incurred when seeking care, such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.

"Comparing plans can be confusing, and the plan with the lowest premium is not always the best value. It is important when consumers compare plans that they are smart shoppers. UPMC offers copays as low as $0 for PCP visits and no-cost options for medication to help people with chronic conditions," added Ms. Holder. "Because we know insurance choices can be confusing, we have staffed our UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Centers with experts who can help you understand your options."

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