Millennials' Money Delusions: Here's What They're Missing

Young woman in office of healthcare worker
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By Shana Lebowitz

What does a millennial have in common with Superman? They're both indestructible.

Well, at least that's what young adults seem to think.

A new survey finds millennials are less likely than any other age group to be protected by health insurance -- even though federal law requires all Americans to get coverage.

The survey, commissioned by, found that as many as 24 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 lack health insurance, compared to just 12 percent of adults over 30. And millennials who do purchase health insurance usually opt for the most basic policy possible.

What's more, results showed that millennials are actually less likely to purchase any kind of insurance -- including automobile, renters or homeowners, life and disability.

That's why it's especially surprising that 60 percent of millennials said they were either very or somewhat confident about their ability to handle the financial impact of an unexpected event, such as a car accident or becoming disabled. In fact, millennials were more self-assured than any other age group except those 65 and older.

It's hard to say exactly what's driving millennials' laid-back attitude. On the one hand, it might just be a classic case of young-adult overconfidence. But, on the other hand, there may be more generation-specific factors to consider. When it comes to health insurance, some might be disinclined to purchase coverage because they think they'd basically be subsidizing older and less healthy Americans, financial psychologist Kit Yarrow told

Other millennials may feel like they don't have the funds to spend on an insurance policy, especially if they're drowning in debt. Among consumers ages 18 to 29, the top reason for not purchasing life insurance was that they couldn't afford it.

Thinking about getting health insurance? Fall marks the beginning of the open enrollment period at most companies, when employees can make changes to their benefit selections.

And as for all other kinds of insurance you buy for yourself, don't automatically assume it's out of your budget. Take the time to get quotes from different providers to see which policy best fits your financial situation. You might be pleasantly surprised: After all, a relatively young, healthy person can pay less than $75 a month for a 20-year, $1 million term life insurance policy.

Bottom line? You never know when an unexpected event could wipe out your savings account and leave you wishing you'd purchased a policy earlier.

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