For New Grads, It's All About the Health Insurance

Health InsuranceIf you've been paying any attention to the latest data on what motivates the youngest crop of job seekers, you've probably heard that they're all about job satisfaction over everything else -- that happiness even outranks salary. That seems to have changed a bit over the last few months, according to a recent survey, which found that more than half (57 percent) say they would take a job they didn't like just for benefits like health insurance and retirement accounts.

What seems a little strange is that only 46 percent of their parents agree, according to a recent national survey of college students, graduates and parents conducted by Kelton Research and sponsored by eHealthInsurance.

How important is that insurance? The overwhelming majority of students (94 percent) and grads (93 percent) said that they would willingly make "sacrifices" like giving up a weekly night out at the movies or a restaurant dinner -- maybe even their their daily cup of java, if it meant having the funds to buy decent health insurance.

And almost 40 percent of the students surveyed said that they wouldn't dream of taking a job without health insurance. It's a bigger deal-breaker than commute time, vacation time, retirement accounts and a prestigious title. Little do they know that the research found that only 31 percent of recent grads actually have health coverage through their new employer.

Looks like more and more graduates will have to remain dependent on their parents, so that they can take advantage of the provision of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows adult children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26. That's for those who are lucky enough to be covered by their parents' plans when they enter the workforce. It certainly isn't a legal requirement, and many parents these days can barely afford to cover themselves, let alone their adult children.

And that's not a popular option with most parents, either. The survey found that they're eager to see their little fledglings fly out on their own. More than half (56 percent) said that they expect to provide their child with financial assistance for only a year or less, or not at all, after graduation.

Of course it's no surprise that nearly two thirds of current college students (63 percent) beg to differ. They think it's only fair for parents to help them cover their health insurance costs for a year or more after graduation. You can hardly blame them for not wanting to add health care expenses to the burdens of student loans. No matter what the age, health insurance seems to be one of the hottest commodities out there now.

Next:Most Students Prefer Passion Over Paycheck

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