I have been a Health Insurance Broker for over a decade, I have probably sold a half of a billion dollars in premium over that amount of time. I have clients of all ages and I am licensed currently in eight states, and there are a few more that I had been licensed in at one point or another.
The most difficult sale throughout all of this time was to what we call the “Young Invincibles”. These are the adults between the ages of 21-30 who are single. Prior to the Affordable Care Act being implemented .in most of my states they could purchase a policy with around a $2500 deductible (which was a normal deductible on the individual market at the time), for between $75 and $80. A $5000 deductible might be between $50 and $60. This would be for a major medical plan with a top rated carrier.
The complaint you would get from this demographic was I do not need health insurance, I do not go to the doctor, or that premium is too high for that kind of deductible.
Now I can debate and explain as to why you would need health insurance, especially catastrophic insurance, but that is a discussion for a different day.
Today under the Affordable Care Act, in my town, the Chicago Suburb or Romeoville, IL here is what is available…
Aetna with a $5000 deductible and a $6350 out of pocket maximum is $252 per month. Assurant with the same deductible and out of pocket is $242 per month. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois is $181 per month, and Humana has a plan with a $6350 deductible and then 100% coverage for $234 per month.
Yes, some people will qualify for a subsidy to help pay for it, but many of this category will not being single and if the make a decent income they will not qualify for a subsidy. If they would not purchase a better plan for $75 per month, why would they purchase a lesser plan for $180, or $250 per month?
The success of the Affordable Care Act was based on these same young people enrolling in the program. They need enough young people to enroll because this age bracket is generally healthy. This is needed to offset the expense of the older population who tend to need more health care.
We are seeing this same group of “Young Invincibles” not enrolling in the plan as they feel it is a bad deal for them. They are willing to pay the government tax at this point which is 1% of their income, rather than pay $250 per month.
It goes back to the title of the article, when you designed this law, What were you thinking??