Administration Desperate to Lure Young People to Obamacare

Image: Administration Desperate to Lure Young People to Obamacare Obamacare supporters gather at an Oct. 1 event on Capitol Hill to celebrate the launch of the law's online insurance markets.

Monday, 28 Oct 2013 09:34 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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In an effort to capture young Americans, which may be the only way to keep Obamacare afloat, the administration is taking drastic measures to encourage the demographic to enroll.

Colorado, for example, is running an ad showing young men drinking beer while celebrating insurance coverage. It reads: “Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier,” The New York Times reports.

But even with public campaigns directed specifically at them, only one in four people between the ages of 19 and 29 even knows the exchanges exist, says the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group. The most uninformed group is the uninsured, a fund survey found.

Making matters more challenging is that many young "invincibles" — a name coined by insurers — are barely making ends meet and cannot afford the extra cost.

According to Forbes, a young person will have to pay $250 per month for basic insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. The premiums paid by younger Americans are needed to help offset the costs of older people, who more often need surgeries, procedures, and expensive medications.

The Washington Examiner reports that young people in all but five states will see an increase in their premiums, with Virginia seeing a $416.55 jump for ages 27 and under, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. That’s a 252 percent increase.

Virginians under age 50 will see their premiums skyrocket even more, according to that same study, which shows the premiums for that age group going from $228 to $991.03.
Even young people who are game for signing up are encountering problems with the trouble-plagued healthcare.gov website.

"I was able to create an account on Oct. 2, and I haven't been able to get into there since," Sean Jackson, 32, of Ohio, told The New York Times.

Economists and analysts say the site's problems could dissuade young, healthy Americans from enrolling, resulting in higher premiums, which could lead to a "death spiral" of falling enrollment and rising costs, the Times reported.

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