Health care spending for young adults whose coverage is provided through employers grew at more than twice the rate of other adults during 2011, the first year that parents were allowed to include adult children in family health plans, according to a study by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.

The report found that per capita health care spending for people 19-25 grew by 8.3 percent in 2011, compared to 3.8 percent for those aged 26-64. Young adults’ use of health services grew rapidly after 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was implemented, particularly for emergency-room visits and treatment for substance abuse. However, the report says the rise in young adult spending may not be entirely attributable to the Affordable Care Act.

In 2012, per capita health care spending among young adults grew 5.4 percent, compared to 4 percent for other adults.

Health spending for adults 26-64 grew slowly after 2010; the 2011-12 average was 3.9 percent. For young adults, the average was 6.9 percent.

The Health Care Cost Institute was launched in 2011 to promote independent, nonpartisan research and analysis on the causes of the rise in U.S. health spending.

For the full report, go to