Politico – Surprisingly large’ numbers of young people enrolling in health coverage

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 29, 2013

POLITICIO’s Natalie Villacorta [behind a paywall: “Initial numbers from several corners of the country show that nearly a quarter of new enrollees have been between 18 and 35 years of age, the demographic bubble whose general vigor and well-being is crucial to the financial stability of Obamacare’s new health exchanges. They’re waiting through website error messages and wading through insurance plan details in places like California, Kentucky and Washington state as well as Washington, D.C. This early in the enrollment period, with most states not yet reporting, their response is hardly definitive. And there’s no federal data broken down by age. But advocates say so far, so good. …”The headway to date could allay fears that the old and sick will be left treading water alone in health plan risk pools. Still, the Obama administration’s goal is much higher than these early levels. It’s aiming for 2.7 million of its 7 million March 31 enrollment goal – more than 38 percent – to be younger people. That tracks the bigger picture: Americans 18-35 comprise about 40 percent of the 41 million uninsured people eligible for coverage. By March, a national trend will be important psychologically, but what’s really going to matter is the situation in individual states, since insurance is pooled at the state level. … The totals so far are ‘surprisingly large,’ said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

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