On Monday, White House officials confirmed what has long been suspected. Namely, that of the more than 2 million people who have signed up for insurance at HealthCare.gov, less than 25 percent of them are young adults – the demographic the Obama administration has been targeting to make the new policies affordable for everyone else.
In a blog posted by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today, she stretched that number even further, claiming that more than 6 million Americans have now either signed up for private health insurance through the Marketplace or for Medicaid coverage.
"Enrollment in the federal Marketplace in December was seven times greater than the cumulative October-November reported federal enrollment number," Sebelius wrote Monday on The White House Blog.
In a leak from a government official at the end of December, the number of enrollees was reportedly 2.2 million at that time.
Nevertheless, the slight dip in numbers released by government officials on Monday also provide an indication of "who" has signed up, with the majority of them being predominately middle-aged adults seeking government subsidies.
Some experts claim that it doesn’t really matter “who” has signed up, so long as there’s a healthy combination of healthy and not-so-healthy folks enrolling in Obamacare.
Whether this is happening or not remains unknown.
What is known is that those who’ve signed up on the federal website, including those who’ve enrolled on state-run websites, indicate that 79 percent of them will get a government subsidy via a tax credit, which will cover costs for premiums and other health care expenses. At least that’s what Kathleen Sebelius says.
As for the ages of those who’ve signed up so far, approximately one third are between the ages of 55 and 64. Another 22 percent are aged 45 to 54, while only 24 percent are between the ages of 18 to 34, according to the new numbers released today.
Meanwhile, the lack of young adult enrollees isn’t something government officials say that they’re concerned about at this point.
“We think that more and more young people are going to sign up as time goes by, which was the experience in Massachusetts,” explained Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“They want to think about it. They want to shop around. They haven’t been insured before,” he added.
In the meantime, people who want to sign up for coverage have until March 31, 2014 to sign up.