In collaboration with the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, faculty and staff at the Policy Center created an issue paper that examines the health status of young people, with an emphasis on health care access and utilization. The paper contains a short introduction on why the young adult population merits more attention; the introduction is followed by a discussion of young adult health issues. Section one presents an overview of young adult health issues and social influences, and section two discusses implications for the delivery and financing of health care for young adults. Innovative efforts to address health care coverage of young adults and selected resources on young adult health are included in the appendices. The paper is intended to inform policymakers, health professionals, health insurance purchasers, beneficiaries, young adults and their families about the health status and coverage issues young adults face as they strive to reach self-sufficiency.