• Young Adults Missing in ACA Exchanges Undermine The Law’s Mission

    Young Adults Missing in ACA Exchanges Undermine The Law’s Mission

    By Dr. Kenneth Rothaus, M.D.

    HealthLeaders Media reports that 49% of consumers do not understand their health plan costs. In the past, health insurance with relatively low deductibles and low co-pays was provided by employers. Because of the low out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred, consumers had no incentive to educate themselves as to the true costs and coverage of health care plans. More than one third of consumers are now having difficulty managing benefit accounts, understanding what expenses are eligible for reimbursement and struggling with this increased financial risk. In addition, more than two thirds of consumers have a problem just understanding healthcare jargon and almost half do not fully understand the financial implications among the different plans they were offered.

    This is all very relevant as the centers for Medicare and Medicaid launch a vigorous campaign to enroll young adults in the Obamacare marketplaces. The very foundation of the Affordable Care Act rests on having young and healthy adults signing up in large numbers. Without these young enrollees, insurance companies are losing money with currently issued ACA exchange policies which are covering a greater percentage of older patients and those with pre-existing conditions than was anticipated.

    Unfortunately, the costs of these policies are too expensive for young adults, do not really serve their needs, and, thus, represent a basic flaw in the underlying premises of the Obamacare marketplaces. As more insurance companies exit from these exchanges and the losses mount up for those remaining, the premiums can just be expected to increase. This will undoubtedly drive those young adults who have signed up out of the marketplaces as well.

    Are you one of these young adults facing this conundrum? Are you enticed to join an exchange under the current conditions? Do you have a Plan B?

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