In Connecticut early numbers show that mostly older Americans are signing up:
In the most detailed briefing since
enrollment began Oct. 1, Access Health CT’s Peter Van Loon expressed
some concern that older people “have jumped on this in a big way,”
acknowledging that the marketplace has always wanted a mixed sampling of
ages so the risk pool is balanced.
Here’s why it matters. The concept behind Obamacare is that younger, uninsured Americans are forced to sign up for insurance they mostly will not use in order to help offset the cost of insuring older Americans who get sick more often. If only older people sign up, the program will be unsustainable.
Of course the federal mandate means that everyone is required to sign up or pay a fine. However the fine for the first year is fairly low, just $95 in some cases. That’s much less than a year’s worth of insurance even with subsidies. In the short term, many young and healthy adults may decide to opt out.
It’s still early days though. It’s also possible that younger people are procrastinating and will show up in greater numbers as the December deadline for coverage beginning in January 2014 approaches.