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Many still uninsured

Unlike Collin, a budding number of 20- and 30-somethings are alive with no health insurance. Devoid of coverage in the workplace or through Mom and Dad, they either can't have enough money to pay money for their own insurance or decide not to extend their budgets with a monthly premium. Many are opting out of employer-sponsored plans because of high premiums.

In 2006, young people ages 18-34 made up 50.6 percent of the nation's uninsured adult population, according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Tecumseh resident Jennifer Cornell, 31, said she chose not to buy health insurance after becoming self-employed this year.

"I could afford insurance," she said. "But am I willing to stretch for it? Not really."

Cornell knows it's a gamble to go without coverage. But like others, she's willing to risk it, at least for a while, because she's healthy and hardly ever sees a doctor.

Still, she worries. "I pray every day I don't end up with some condition," she said.

Insurers say getting "invincible" to sign up for plans will take educating them about the importance of health coverage and preventive care to avoid costlier health needs down the line.



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