The Affordable Care Act needs younger and healthier consumers to sign up to offset costs from older policyholders.
As much as the Affordable Care Act has seen a considerable growth in the number of uninsured people who have been signing up for health insurance through the exchange websites, there is one considerable area of struggle that it has been facing in terms of sign-ups: young adults.
This problem isn’t a minor one, as the ACA had been relying on healthy people to offset the expenses of the sick.
As young adults are the people who are most likely to be healthy and, therefore, have the lowest medical expenses, the Affordable Care Act was counting on the health insurance premiums from those customers to pay for the costs of people in older age brackets who are more likely to have medical expenses associated with them. According to statistics that were released on December 26, throughout the 38 states that use the federal exchange, only about 26 percent of the people who were enrolled were within the critical 18 to 34 years of age category.
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This number is considerably lower than the goal had been for health insurance enrollment from that age group.
These figures were released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is responsible for the administration of the law. That figure represents very little movement when compared to the one that was recorded for the two month period that ended on January 16, 2015. While it is promising that the numbers haven’t fallen, it doesn’t help the situation of paying for the medical expenses for which insurance companies are currently responsible.
The prediction that had made at the launch of the exchanges for the health care law in 2013 was that adults between the ages of 18 and 34 years would make up about 40 percent of the enrollment. That would be the ideal, but it is clear that the current figures aren’t anywhere near that level. This means that the health insurance premiums paid by that group of primarily healthy individuals aren’t paying for as much of the costs of older enrollees as had initially been expected.