(Bloomberg) – Early enrollment data from the states seemed to suggest that the demographics of enrollees on the exchanges weren’t looking so hot.
Early on, the Barack Obama administration was saying it wanted about 40 percent of the enrollees to be adults under the age of 35. Data from the states seemed to show that the young were more like 20 to 25 percent of total enrollment. If those numbers hold through the end of open enrollment, this alone could cause premiums to rise 4 to 6 percent next year.
Yesterday we got the official numbers for the nation as a whole. And they mirror what we saw in the states: Young adults make up 24 percent of total enrollment. The exchanges also skew female, which will raise premiums if the gender balance is still off come March.
But don’t start writing obituaries for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA’s) insurance markets yet.
As Jonathan Cohn has pointed out, enrollment in Massachusetts also skewed old in the early months, then rose to 31 percent by the deadline. That’s not as high as the feds are hoping for the federal exchanges, but it’s significantly better than 24 percent:
It’s not certain that the rest of the country will follow suit; open enrollment in Massachusetts lasted much longer than it willfor the national system.
(The national system open enrollment period started Oct. 1 and is set to end March 31.)