ObamaCare is proving young adults are reluctant to enroll. Statistics show the government health plan does not appeal to young people, which could sink the ObamaCare health plan.
Approximately 2 million people are now enrolled in the new ObamaCare health plan in accordance with the new law enacted in December. In a report released on Monday, the government released demographic information, for the first time, on the performance of the controversial health care revamping.
Marketplaces for ObamaCare opened in October. By the end of December, almost 2.2 million people have participated in the available insurance plans. Nonpartisan analysts predicted that by the close of the enrollment period on March 31, close to 7 million people would need to be enrolled for the system to succeed.
Out of the 7 million people enrolled, approximately 2.7 million, or 40 percent, would need to consist of people in the 18-34 year old demographic, according to sources at the White House in a statement released last year. Health insurance experts agree that in order for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces to be sustainable, the percentage of young people signed-up should be in proportion they represent in the general population.
While ObamaCare enrollment has reached over 2 million people, less than 25 percent are young people between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. According to the statistics released by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 489,460 people, or 24 percent, of the 2 million participants enrolled for the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, were in the much desired 18 to 34 age group. Basically, the government has only been able to attract 18 percent of its goal for desired demographic.
Obama administration officials remain positive when analyzing the number. They state the healthcare plan is in a solid position and pointed out that age demographic constitutes only 26 percent of the general populace.
Brendan Buck, a spokesperson for Speaker of the House, John Boehner, stated that enrollment for young adults so far has fallen short. He went on to comment ObamaCare may not have lost its appeal when young adults discover the plan offers limited access to doctors coupled with high cost and an impossible enrollment procedure. Is it any wonder why young adults are reluctant to enroll?
ObamaCare depends on young people to enroll in the next few months in order to help cover costs of older, sicker participants. If the young do not enroll and help pay for the sicker enrollees, then the rates for ACA participants will go up and the future of ObamaCare will be in question.
An administration official stated ObamaCare was not headed for a spiral which would skyrocket insurance costs, referencing a Dec. 17, report by Kaiser Family Foundation research. Their findings suggest even if young adult enrollment does not increase, the effect may be minimal. The research showed that since premiums are designed to show a 3-4 percent profit, ObamaCare would still be making a profit. However, it is likely the increased costs would be passed to the ObamaCare participants instead of absorbed by the profit margin.
Despite Obama administration assurances that the Affordable Care Act will be able to sustain itself, many health insurance companies participating in the marketplaces are anxious. Humana Health warned their investors on Thursday that the participant mix is worse than what was expected, especially now since young adults are reluctant to enroll in ObamaCare.
By Deborah Baran