This year’s college graduates are unrealistic about health insurance options post-school, according to an April 2012 survey of 526 recent and soon-to-be college grads conducted by eHealthInsurance and Kelton Research.
The survey showed that 82 percent of students think their first jobs after college will provide health insurance. But in reality, only half of this number (41 percent) of recent grads said their jobs actually provide insurance.
Further, 72 percent of students and 75 percent of recent grads said they would rather go without health insurance than default on their student loans. And this makes sense, because the survey also reported that 68 percent of students and 62 percent of recent grads are afraid they won’t be able to pay their student loans at some point during their 20s.
The reason for this student loan freak-out might be that students estimate they will need to earn an average salary of $81,600 per year (recent grads said they would need to earn $61,800) to feel financially secure. But former college students who graduated in the past 3 years only reported making $21,900 per year on average.
More than 6 in 10 students are afraid they won’t find a job after graduation and about the same number of recent grads said they had already run into trouble finding a job or worried they wouldn’t find a job at some point in their twenties.
Other notable survey findings include:
- About 40 percent of students and 38 percent of recent grads said health insurance was “non-negotiable” and would be more likely to pass on a job that didn’t offer health insurance than any other benefit
- More than half (51 percent) of both current students and recent grads think it’s more important for new college graduates to take a job they don’t like in order to get health insurance than to take a job they like but that doesn’t provide coverage
- Parents of current students or recent grads believe their children would feel financially secure with an annual income of $54,200 on average.