Not Enough Youth Enrollees in Obamacare

Megan McArdle, writing for Boomberg View, theorizes that the number of young people enrolling in Obamacare required to keep the health insurance market from entering a “death spiral” will not be met. She notes that as of March 1st, 4,242,325 had chosen a plan on the Obamacare exchanges, but only 1,075,990 of them were between the ages of 18 and 35. That’s barely 25% of those who had enrolled.

McArdle adds that original projections of what percentage of young people were needed to keep Obamacare afloat aimed at a 38.5% turnout.

She calculates that in order for the youth enrollment to hit 40%, there would have to be 912,174 of them signing up in March, which is doubtful at best. McArdle iterates that even if 3.5 million people sign up in March, there would still have to be 55% of them between the ages of 18 and 35 for the exchanges to succeed. She quotes the Kaiser Family Foundation’s statistics that aver that if the total percentage of youth enrollees amounted to 33% of the grand total, costs would be 1.1% greater than premiums, endangering the market; if it remained at roughly 25%, costs would be 2.45 more than premiums, a more dangerous scenario.

But according to McArdle, there’s a safety net. She states, “Insurers also want this to work, so they may be willing to take losses for a few years to keep premiums low …”

The Obama Plan: Screw the insurance companies. Full speed ahead.


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