New report: 2.1 million young adults may not qualify for Obamacare subsidies

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 26, 2013

According to a new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Wednesday, nearly 2.1 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 may not qualify for healthcare subsidies under the Affordable Care Act after all.

That’s because the report, which focused on who is eligible to receive health insurance subsidies in the 36 states participating in the Obamacare healthcare exchanges, found that the subsidies for Millennials in nearly every state participating in the exchanges disappeared before the 400 percent of the federal poverty level required by the Affordable Care Act.

A healthcare exchange, as outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is an online marketplace for purchasing insurance set up by the government.

“Officially, the ObamaCare exchanges are supposed to give a subsidy to everyone making 400 percent of the federal poverty level or below, and that’s what the public is being told. Yet we’ve found that for most people age 18-34, the subsidies disappear well before that 400 percent level,” the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Dr. David Hogberg said in a press release.

The HHS’s report actually confirms the findings of a study released last week by the NCPPR, which found that the subsidies provided for the Obamacare exchanges will favor older, sicker people over the young and healthy – leading to what the center calls “an insurance death spiral.”

From a financial standpoint, the healthcare exchanges won’t remain viable without younger Americans buying into the program, as their fees are needed to offset the cost of healthcare for older, more sickly adults. Yet, according to the HHS’s report, Americans above the age of 52 who are making upwards of 400 percent of the federal poverty level are still eligible for the subsidies while their younger counterparts aren’t.

“A health insurance system like the ObamaCare exchanges that discourages the younger and healthier but attracts the older and sicker is headed for disaster,” he stated.

Last month, the NCPPR released the findings of a study which found that millions of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 would be better off paying the penalty for opting out of Obamacare than actually buying into the program. 

The report notes that about six million “young invincibles” – single, childless Millennials – who are eligible for the healthcare exchanges will be forced to pay at least $500 annually for insurance that they don’t necessarily need.

The fine for 2014 is $95 or 1 percent of the individual’s income, whichever is higher.

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