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4 Our Of 5 O-Care Sign-ups Are Getting Subsidies

From the Associated Press:

Health care signups: More older Americans so far

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR 5 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Younger people went for President Barack Obama at election time, but will they buy his health insurance?

New government figures show it’s an older, costlier crowd that’s signing up so far for health insurance under Obama’s health care law. Enrollments are lower for the healthy, younger Americans who will be needed to keep premiums from rising.

Young adults from 18 to 34 are only 24 percent of total enrollment, the administration said Monday in its first signup figures broken down for age, gender and other details.

With the HealthCare.gov website now working, the figures cover the more than 2 million Americans who had signed up for government-subsidized private insurance through the end of December in new federal and state markets.

So they did not even reach one third of their goal of 7 million sign ups.

Enrolling young and healthy people is important because they generally pay more into the system than they take out, subsidizing older adults. While 24 percent is not a bad start, say independent experts, it should be closer to 40 percent to help keep premiums down.

Sorry, experts. 24% is a terrible start. They are supposed to carry the freight.

Adults ages 55-64 were the most heavily represented in the signups, accounting for 33 percent of the total. Overall, the premiums paid by people in that demographic don’t fully cover their medical expenses. Some are in the waiting room for Medicare; that coverage starts at age 65.

In other words Obama-Care loses money on every older sign-up.

The administration and its allies remain confident they’ll be able to get young adults interested. Many experts expected older, sicker people to be more heavily represented in the early numbers. Younger people might procrastinate, waiting until the March 31 enrollment deadline is near, weighing whether they want to risk tax penalties for remaining uninsured…

Don’t bet on it. All the pressure is to sign up now. The more people learn about Obama-Care, the less likely they are to sign up.

With Monday’s numbers, a fuller picture has started to emerge of who’s signing up.

Some of the highlights:

— The administration continues to play catch-up. Originally, officials hoped to sign up more than 3.3 million people through the end of 2013, nearly halfway to the goal of 7 million enrollments by the end of March. Instead, enrollment as of Dec. 31 was not quite 2.2 million.

— Fifty-four percent of those who signed up were women, a slightly higher proportion of females than in the population.

— Nearly four out of five who signed up got financial help with their premiums.

So how is Obama-Care ever going to be financially viable? And how is it not just another income redistribution program?

— The most popular coverage option was a so-called silver plan, which covers about 70 percent of expected medical costs. Three out of five people picked silver. One in five picked a lower-cost bronze plan. Only 13 percent picked gold, which most closely compares to the typical employer plan. Another 7 percent went for top-tier platinum plans, and about 1 percent picked skimpy "catastrophic" plans available only to certain groups of people, including those under 30.

Huh? We thought "skimpy" plans were now illegal. Where do we sign up?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “4 Our Of 5 O-Care Sign-ups Are Getting Subsidies”

  1. Aren’t we going to run out of money at some point?

  2. canary

    Worse, ObamaCare marketplaces which can only lose money will be paid with federal tax money and another reason hospital bills will only rise.

  3. AcornsRNutz

    So the government is just now figuring out the basic economics of insurance? Wow, who knew?




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