Fewer Young People Enrolled In Obamacare Than Needed


To make Obamacare work it was estimated that about 40% of the newly enrolled have to be in the 18 to 34 year old age group. Well, we all knew that wouldn’t happen, and it didn’t. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 28% are young, so expect premiums to rise.

Just more than a quarter of the eight million people who signed up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act are in the prized demographic of 18 to 34 years old, falling short of the figure considered ideal to keep down policy prices.

The data, released Thursday by the Obama administration, painted a more complete picture of enrollment in the plans. They show that about 28% of people picking plans on the state and federal insurance exchanges by April 19—after most states’ enrollment deadlines passed—were 18 to 34 years old, a generally healthy group. The proportion is higher than previous counts. But it is significantly below the 40% level that some analysts consider important for holding down rates by balancing the greater medical spending generated by older enrollees.

Insurers right now are setting rates for 2015, and the age data will be a key factor in their decisions. Some insurers say that despite seeing a late surge in younger enrollees, their sign-ups still skewed older overall than they had expected.

One big insurer, Florida Blue, had projected an average age for enrollees in the late 30s, but instead is seeing a figure in the low 40s. (Read More)

Why had they expected more young people to sign up for high premium, high deductible policies? Oh well, never mind, the debate is over.