Young Adults Key to Obamacare Success


young adults key to Obamacare

Young Adults Key to Obamacare

The Importance of the 19-29 Age Group to the Health Insurance Exchange

Young adults key to Obamacare success: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care act have many provisions effecting small businesses and individuals. However one of the core and most fundamental provisions will take effect October 1, 2013. This is when the Individual Health Insurance Exchange or Marketplace will open for individuals to purchase health plans. The Individual Health Insurance Exchanges will provide uninsured individuals an opportunity to purchase coverage at an affordable price, in addition to putting certain rules in place to provide protection and comprehensive coverage. Such rules include the elimination of pre-existing conditions, guaranteed coverage, minimum essential health benefits, and subsidies for eligible recipients. If you have an employer based health insurance plan, Medicaid, Medicare or a government sponsored plan you do not need to go on the exchange to purchase a health plan.

The vast new health benefits make the Health Insurance Exchange very enticing to many Americans, there are also concerns from many groups including large Health Insurance providers over the fear and concerns not enough young adults will join the Health Insurance Exchange. This worry is rooted in the notion older and more sickly individuals with pre-existing condition will flood the exchange purchasing health plans, and cause health insurance premium rates to skyrocket for all. Older individuals tend to use more health services then younger and healthier individuals. This leads to the importance of the young adult population to the success of the Health insurance exchange, and the key to leveling the risk pool on the exchange. There are now days left before the exchange opens, many experts and analyst are still up in the air in regards to what this fickle group will do.young adults key to Obamacare 2

Rueters, and Ipsos tried to answer this same question through a new poll they conducted. 1,053 uninsured Americans took part in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, and it found some surprising results that may help support the Obama administration goals.

The studied found that 40% of uninsured individuals within all age groups support Obamacare, and the goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When the various age groups are divided 50% of those aged 18-34 supports the law. 30% of those within the 18-34 age group have attempted to purchase insurance in the past but may have been deterred due to costs. According to the Reuter study this may be an indication of pent-up demand for health insurance by the 18-34 age group.

When forecast of future demand is evaluated, 33% of young adults in the 18-34 age group polled said they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to buy insurance through their state’s exchange. Which is a very good signed for the Health Insurance Exchange.

According to Rueters data there is roughly 16 million uninsured adults within the age of 19-29. The Obama administration’s goal is to ensure they get as many of those 16 million young adults to participate and purchase an insurance plan on the exchange. If the study is any indication of what will occur when the exchange opens October 1, 2013 the White House should easily meet the goal of signing up 2.7 million young adults – out of an estimated 16 million uninsured young adults.

Young Adults Obamcare Subsidies and Fines.

While subsidies will be available for young adults within 133-400% of the federal Poverty level, unless you meet one of the acceptable exemptions listed by the IRS you will be require to pay a shared responsibility fee. The Individuals Shared responsibility fee is applicable to anyone who does not meet one of the exceptions, or failed to purchase a qualifying health plan. The fee will start at 1% income or $95.00 whichever is greater for 2014. The fee will be collected in paid in 2015.


Event though the exchange opens October 1, 2013 the open enrollment period will last a six month period. It will take sometime for us to realize the full impact and how successful the Obama administration is in getting young and uninsured adults to participate on the Health Insurance Exchange.
According to David Dranove, this might also be an additional incentive for young adults to purchase a qualifying health plan. “We know from behavioral economics that people respond more to penalties than subsidies,” said economist David Dranove of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “This kind of quirk is most apparent in situations that people aren’t used to,” which describes buying health insurance after being uninsured.

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