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Young adults warm up to Obamacare

By Crissinda Ponder ·
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Posted: 9 am ET

The Americans most coveted by proponents of the Affordable Care Act no longer seem to be dragging their feet on health insurance.

In the Obamacare health exchanges, enrollment by young adults -- those between the ages of 18 and 34 -- grew by 65 percent during January, a much faster pace than for all other age groups combined, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

Good vital sign for the insurance pool

Insurers want good numbers of younger and presumably healthier consumers in the insurance pool to help keep it balanced.

"We are thrilled to see young adult enrollment rates continue to increase and expect this trend will continue as more learn that they can get help paying for their insurance and work with in-person enrollment assisters," Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of advocacy group Young Invincibles, said in a statement.

Most young adults choosing a marketplace plan picked a mid-priced silver plan or higher.

A big month all around

The latest Obamacare numbers also show that overall enrollment increased by 53 percent during January, the fourth month of the open enrollment period. Other findings include:

  • Nearly a third of those who selected plans between Oct. 1 and Feb. 1 were age 34 and younger.
  • In January alone, 27 percent who signed up for coverage were between ages 18 and 34.
  • 82 percent of those who selected a plan during that period will receive tax credits to lower the cost of their premium.

"These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the Marketplace," Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

A total of about 3.3 million Americans have enrolled in a health plan through the Obamacare exchanges since open enrollment began Oct. 1. Another 3.2 million were deemed eligible for either Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Obama administration said.

What are your thoughts on the latest figures? Will Obamacare reach 6 million enrollees by March 31, when the enrollment period ends?

Follow me on Twitter: @CrissiPonder.

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February 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

The math doesn't support the title of the article. In January alone 27% of those signed up were between 18 & 34. From Oct 1 thru Feb 1 the number was 33% (Nearly a third according to the article). So the number of "young & healthy" participants is actually decreasing as a percentage of the enrolled pool. How does that support "Young adults warm up to Obamacare"?

Bill Murphy
February 14, 2014 at 9:37 am

To George Hannes: How do you think you and your wife would be paying for your health care if it wasn't for the government run Medicare program. Don't respond by saying you paid in to the plan because if you are 88 and 89 your contribution was expended years ago. I don't understand why older Americans don't want the younger generation to have the same benefits that they enjoy.I will turn 65 in October and can't wait to enjoy the benefits of Medicare.

February 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

Really, 82% being paid by the tax payers, that's working out real well. Moving the nation one step closer to bankruptcy.

George Hannes
February 14, 2014 at 8:02 am

A voice from the older generation. I will be 88 and my wife 89 in a few weeks. Because of what we have seen in costs and care we feel the A.C.A. should be given a proper burial with full American Flags flying. We want our children Grand Children and Great ones to the same choices we have had that have been taken away in many area.IF YOU ARE IN THE SO CALLED YOUNG GROUP PLEASE DON'T SIGN UP. THANK YOU!!

February 14, 2014 at 7:58 am

To William insur,
Would rather have your employer cancel your insurance, pay for your own plan, or have me pay for your care when you go to the hospital and file for bankruptcy? You do not qualify for the ACA so why worry about those who greatly benefit from Obamacare.

dan paul
February 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

does this plan! cover right wing sheep who have mental problems caused by the liberal media

william insur
February 14, 2014 at 6:21 am

it would cost me $112 a month for my health insurance. Now if i actually needed to use it i would have to pay $2500 before it kicks in. That would push me to over $300 a month for a year. I am basically paying for a loan that i have not received yet and may never receive if I die before any care. My employer pays just under 4x that amount. When you put it that way I am paying nearly 6,000 dollars a year for health insurance as my employers contribution could instead be pay, or an additional job per every 10 employees.

An extra 6k per year in pay would be a significant boost to low wage earners and the economy.

Will Grocke
February 14, 2014 at 6:10 am

They need to sign up 7 million, they are less than half way there with the deadline just around the corner. Just another positive spin by Obama's unofficial publicity department, the liberal media.

fritz brougham
February 14, 2014 at 4:08 am

i don't really believe the bogus numbers the admin. is putting forth. the obama incapable of the telling the truth.2017 can not come to soon for my taste.

Bill Midboe
February 14, 2014 at 2:05 am

Do you think that if this wasn't a law that people would sign up for it. Its a law and if you don't sign up you get punished with a tax fine. Most people are signing up for the cheapest one with High deductables and copays . what a joke. You will never meet the limits on your insurance.