March 20, 2014

WE WILL BE INVINCIBLE: “Young Invincibles” Are Killing ObamaCare.

As the clock ticks down to the end of open enrollment for health coverage, one thing is becoming clearer: what the final demographics will look like. Demographics matter a lot because they will help determine whether the health insurance market goes into a death spiral (or requires hefty federal subsidies to keep it from doing so). Young healthy people, and a lot of them, are needed to keep the market stable and premiums low. As we head into the final few weeks, we have a pretty good idea of how many young healthy people there will be, and the answer is: a whole lot fewer than the health-care wonks were expecting.

But wait a minute! I hear you cry. We don’t know any such thing! After all, everyone expects a lot of young healthy people to wait until the last minute! Are you saying they’re wrong?

Not exactly. I too expect the demographics of March enrollment to skew younger than prior months. But at this point, unless that enrollment is truly massive, I don’t think that will be enough.

Especially since a lot of them can just stay on their parents’ insurance.