Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 27, 2014
Less than one in five young Americans are likely to enroll in the Obamacare healthcare exchanges this year, according a new study commissioned by Young America’s Foundation.
The study, which was released Monday, found that just 18 percent of adults ages 18-to-24 plan on enrolling in the exchanges, with another 46 percent reporting that they are not likely to enroll at all. That includes nearly half of all self-identified Independents, as well as those from the Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States.
These numbers are troublesome for the president, as the success of the healthcare exchanges depends largely on having a large number of young Americans enroll in the exchanges. According to YAF, the president needs 40 percent of young, uninsured Americans to enroll in the exchanges to keep the program solvent. Early enrollment numbers found that a higher-than-expected number of older, sickly Americans were enrolling in the program – an issue that also threatens the exchanges’ financial stability over the next few years.
A large factor in why the early enrollment numbers among young Americans was low is the disastrous rollout of Healthcare.gov, the website created specifically for Americans to enroll in the exchanges. Yet numbers released last week still found that young adults were signing up at lower-than-expected rates.
Millennials have also been opting out of Obamacare because of the high costs for the premiums – even under the cheapest plan possible. A recent study conducted by the American Action Forum found that six in seven Millennials would be better off paying the penalty for foregoing health insurance in 2014 – a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of the person’s income, whichever is greater – than opting into the program.
The study also found that one in three young Americans believe they will be “worse off” under the Affordable Care Act than before – a significant number considering the new law allows adults under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans, thus eliminating the need for them to enroll in the exchanges.
“The administration believes that because young people were some of Obama’s most enthusiastic supporters that they will just buy anything that they sell. But young people are smarter than that,” YAF spokeswoman Ashley Pratte told Red Alert Politics. ”A lot of young people are feeling ‘buyer’s remorse’ currently. They were told they would get free healthcare when in fact it was never communicated that they would be the ones picking up the tab and subsidizing healthcare for the older and sicker generation.”
the polling company, inc./WomenTrend conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 24 on behalf of Young America’s Foundation from December 27, 2013 to January 6, 2014. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.