April 28 2014

Study: Healthcare Costs for Young People Spike Under ObamaCare

Patrice J. Lee

We’ve hit the drum beat that ObamaCare is a bad deal for young people. It drives up their premiums while delivering less care and fewer options. It’s a system that’s stacked against young adults; young, healthy people are used under ObamaCare to offset costs for older, sicker Americans.

Now, new research published in the Journal for Adolescent Health confirms that costs for young people are indeed rising dramatically because of ObamaCare.

For healthy people who use little to no health care services, the healthcare law drives up out-of-pocket costs for simple doctor visits or procedures while adding costly monthly premiums. In addition, young adults insured part of the year had higher emergency room costs than those uninsured for the whole year.

This isn’t lost on young Americans. Rising costs are proving to be a deterrent to their signing up for healthcare coverage. They are willing to remain uninsured and take the tax penalty rather than incur new costs under plans like those offered through the ObamaCare exchanges.

The Daily Caller reports:

A Journal of Adolescent Health analysis of 2009 federal data on patient spending found that young adults who were insured at least part of the year had higher emergency room costs than those who were uninsured the entire year.

Kaiser Health News noted that because the study looked only at records from 2009, it doesn’t factor in that young adults can still stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 and can now receive subsidies for their insurance costs.

But not only are insurance companies charging even higher rates to adults who continue to use their parents’ health insurance, premiums for young adults are rising dramatically under the new health care law — by design.

The proportion of young adults in Obamacare exchanges has been so controversial because youths, who are healthier and less likely to need costly medical care, are needed to pay higher premiums to contribute to older and sicker exchange customers.

But with young adults paying more for being insured before Obamacare, they’re even less likely to want to purchase health insurance now that the health care law has pushed up young adults’ premiums disproportionately.

The lead author of the Journal of Adolescent Health report, Dr. Josephine Lau, said that ObamaCare reforms that ban co-payments for preventive and wellness services may provide an incentive for young adults, but the addition of higher premiums may continue to keep young adults away from the insurance market.

Young people are smarter than the Administration and the architects of the President’s signature law give us credit for. We know a bad deal when we see it and that’s why the President had such a difficult time getting us to enroll.

Of the total 8 million signups (an inflated number that will shrink due to non-payment of premiums and other factors), only 28 percent are in the 18-34 year old demographic while the target was about 40 percent. Young people are the key to making ObamaCare sustainable. It will be difficult to keep premiums from rising now because of this demographic mix.

The Administration spent the past six months pulling every gimmick and trick they could to lure young Americans into purchasing ObamaCare. There were the insulting brosurance and hosurance ads, Pajama Boy, Zach Galifianakis and Between the Ferns, and the March Madness campaign featuring legendary coaches and basketball players. The Administration wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on expensive ad buys during the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics. Celebrities from John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Hudson to Kal Penn, Amy Poehler, and Stephen Baldwin promoted getting covered through Twitter, online videos, and appearances.

The Obama Administration’s frustration came to head in early Spring as evidenced by First Lady Michelle Obama flat out calling young adults “Knuckleheads” for not buying into healthcare specifically ObamaCare.

Purchasing healthcare coverage is a responsible action that every (young) American should do. But as we noted, no FLOTUS, we are not knuckleheads. We just recognize a bad deal when we see it and we refuse to buy into it.

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