If you remember, Obamacare works by forcing young people (especially young men) to pay for care they don’t need and won’t use. This lowers the costs of health care for younger women and especially for older, sicker people. The target is 2.7 million enrollments of people from age 18-34. But are young people signing up for this plan in numbers like that?
Investors Business Daily has the answer.
Data through five months of the open-enrollment period show that slightly fewer than 10% of eligible 18- to 34-year-olds have signed up for coverage. Among young men, roughly 1 in 12 has signed up.
The Kaiser Family Foundation puts the ObamaCare-eligible population at 28.6 million, with 40%, or about 11.4 million, in the 18-to-34 age group.
Compared to the size of the potential market, the first-year target of 7 million enrollees, including about 2.8 million young adults, was relatively modest.
Yet it’s now clear that the initial target is well out of reach. The Avalere Health consultancy projected that sign-ups — paid and unpaid — will end March at around 5.4 million.
Through February, not quite 1.1 million young adults had selected an exchange plan. Among this group, the male-female breakdown was about 45% vs. 55%. That matters because women at child-rearing age are more likely to run up big medical bills.
In February, 268,000 18- to 34-year-olds signed up, so a decent upsurge in March could lift the total close to 1.4 million. But that’s before winnowing out the people who don’t pay.
Anecdotal reports from a handful of states and large insurers now point to a paid rate of about 85%, possibly lower.
While that could improve before the March 31 deadline, there’s reason to suspect that the paid percentage might lag among young adults, since they are showing more reticence about signing up in the first place.
Once the unpaid group is subtracted, it appears likely that young-adult enrollees will fall at least 50% below the first-year target The White House had initially set that target at 2.7 million.
[...]The age mix is important because the exchanges charge younger people higher premiums relative to pre-ObamaCare individual market insurance, so that older people can be charged less without negating insurer profits.
If young adults make up just 25% of the ObamaCare exchange population, it would wipe out much, but not all, of the 3% to 4% profit margin insurers typically allow for in setting premiums, Kaiser Family Foundation experts figure.
Yet that calculation assumes the health status of those who do sign up is about average. In general, an insured pool comprising a smaller share of the eligible group raises concern that the covered group will be costlier than average.
So they are expecting 2.7 million, but even with a late surge of enrollments, they are only going to get 1.4 million young people. That’s bad for Democrats, but I am happy that young men are not signing up for this law. They have nothing to gain from it. Maybe this whole mess will be worth it if young men understand that big government rides on the backs of young men. They are expected to pay the taxes, but without getting any of the benefits. Sex changes? IVF? Maternity? Well woman exam? Birth control pills? We don’t use that. We don’t mind paying for that for our wives, but we don’t want to pay for it for complete strangers.