Health Insurance Rates May Go Up Drastically For Young Adults

Posted on: January 7th, 2013 by SamTabes No Comments

Many Americans, of all ages, are preparing for higher health insurance premiums as the Affordable Care Act is implemented in full and as health care costs consider to soar.  One age group may be in for a drastic premium increase according to a new study.  According to Stephen Feller’s article on NewsMax.com, a recent study was completed by Contingencies Magazine that showed rates could go up by as much as 40% for young adults between the ages of 21 and 29.  This causes great concern for not only this age group but their families as well.

The concern is that an increase of relatively healthy people with health insurance will tip the balance away from those who need immediate health needs and will end up driving up costs for young adults.  This age group already struggles to pay health insurance and often opts to go uninsured because of it.  Increase costs even further and it could be a recipe for disaster.  The study says close to 4 million uninsured individuals could end up paying more out of pocket for single coverage than they would otherwise, even if they receive government assistance.

This age group of individuals ages 21-29 has about twice the number of uninsured members according to the article and this may make them feel the effects of health care reform more than any other age group.  This fact combined with variables such as vouchers makes rates unpredictable with a wide range of fluctuation.  America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) wrote that higher rates for the younger age groups combined with lower mandate penalties during the first few years of the Affordable Care Act implementation will cause problems as this group will choose to not carry health insurance at all.

Getting everyone to obtain health insurance coverage is a key aspect for the success of the Affordable Care Act and this age group could throw a wrench in the plans.  When these younger individuals choose not to get health insurance coverage, it will cause destabilization of the individual health insurance market.  This in turn will cause a domino effect of rates skyrocketing and health insurance becoming unaffordable for many families.  This in turn will cause lower enrollment rates and we could have the same problem we’ve been facing for the past decades.

So much of this fear is simply hypothesis and prediction but it seems to make sense.  Hopefully Congress has a plan to address this potential problem and rates for young adults will stay reasonable.  A large portion of this age group will be eligible to remain on their parents health insurance plans and hopefully these rates will remain lower.  Student health insurance plans will hopefully remain reasonable as well through universities.  This could encourage overall lower rates of covered young adults and keep this predicted scenario from coming to fruition.

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