Now that the health care reform is in full swing, college age consumers aren’t enrolling.
One of the factors that is the most central determining whether the health care reform will be successful over the long term has to do with enrolling a large number of young people in health insurance plans.
Unfortunately, as of yet, this age group does not seem to be making much of an effort to sign up.
The mid-January report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that this key component to the success of Obamacare is currently dragging along below the projected numbers for that time. Through December 28, 2013, approximately 24 percent (489,460) of health insurance enrollees were in that critical age group that falls between 18 and 34 years.
This group is exceptionally important for health insurance coverage simply because they are the most healthy.
The age group from 18 to 34 is a defining one of the success of the health care reforms because their premiums will help to offset some of the costs that are generated by providing treatment for older patients as well as those with chronic or terminal illness who can no longer be turned away for coverage. As younger policyholders are typically healthier, less of the premiums that they pay are used directly for their own care. Instead, they help to pay for the people who are more expensive to cover.
This being the case, a certain percentage of young enrollees is very important to the ability of the Affordable Care Act to pay for itself.
There are a number of barriers to being able to draw people in the 18 to 34 age group to purchase coverage. To start, this is not an age group that is known for having a tremendous amount of money to play with. In fact, they are more likely to carry debt than many of the older age brackets. Next, because they are typically the most healthy, it makes it difficult for them to see the importance of coverage when they could be using the money that they would be needing for premiums in order to cover other expenses in their lives.
The key is to be able to appeal to young Americans in a way that is relevant to them. Television commercials showing families does not allow this age group to relate. Instead, marketing to this group must focus on being cool early on. An aggressive, attention grabbing campaign will be vital to making people pay attention and, even more importantly, take action. This is not just needed, it’s needed right now.