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Happy 26th Birthday. Feeling Lucky?

Weighing the odds for the "young invincibles." Health care costs at age 26.

September 11, 2013

ROCHESTER – If your bicycle crashes and you break a leg, you could face more than $7,000 in medical bills if you're an uninsured young adult in upstate New York, according to a new infographic by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Or, suffer a concussion during a soccer game, and you could face about $3,000 in medical costs.

"More than 280,000 New York state adults will turn 26 in 2014, and many of them will no longer be eligible for coverage through their parent's health plan," said Jamie Kerr, M.D., vice president, chief medical officer for utilization management, Excellus BCBS.

"Young adults will likely weigh the pros and cons of obtaining health coverage and decide whether to go without coverage or purchase insurance to protect themselves from unexpected medical bills," she said.

Starting in 2014, almost everyone will be required to have health coverage. Individuals could obtain coverage through an employer, government program or college plan, for example, or through the New York health benefit exchange, 'NY State of Health.' Adults who forgo coverage will face paying a penalty.

Young adults may be eligible for financial help when purchasing coverage. In 2014, a young New Yorker with an average income of about $32,000 would qualify in upstate New York for about $400 to $2,500 annually in tax credits.

"We know that thousands of young adults in upstate New York annually face unexpected health problems, whether they sprain their ankle, hurt their back or develop a severe case of bronchitis," Kerr said. "But young adults may go without health insurance because they don't believe they'll get hurt or sick and need coverage."

The Excellus BCBS infographic covers the types of medical costs that uninsured young adults in upstate New York may face. The infographic also details possible benefits of obtaining coverage, including no cost for preventive services such as regular checkups, a $600 gym reimbursement and prescription drug coverage.

Go to excellusbcbs.com/factsheets to view a printable PDF of the infographic or go to brand.excellusbcbs.com/infographics to view a mobile-friendly version. For more information, go to excellusbcbs.com/turning26

About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
, a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.9 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit excellusbcbs.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.