Young people and ‘Obamacare’ enrollment: good and unclear news

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Are young people signing up for President Obama’s health care?

Some definitely are, yes.

My trip to two City Colleges suggests that there’s interest in the Affordable Care Act, especially as the deadline approaches.

And Medicaid appears to be a no-brainer for young people, ages 18 to 34, as it has no or little cost for most health services.

But the ones who don’t qualify for Medicaid and have to pay for insurance through the marketplace — and are key to the Affordable Care Act not having too many older, sicker enrollees in the marketplace and therefore higher premiums — are more mixed in their response.

Some of those who qualified in tax credits to purchase insurance plans through “Obamacare” said they were thrilled to pay much less for comprehensive coverage. But at least some who either did or didn’t qualify for tax credit said they would rather pay a penalty for not having insurance.

The only hard facts we have — though those aren’t perfect, either, because they’re for people who have signed up to buy an insurance plan, but not necessarily those who have actually paid — came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week. It showed that people who have signed up to buy health insurance have so far skewed older.

Though experts note that young people are more likely to sign up closer to the deadline than older people.

Read more in Sunday’s paper to hear what young people and navigators are saying about the Affordable Care Act.


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