Experts have repeatedly said participation by young, healthy adults in health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is vital to the success of the law.
But new research now says, well, maybe not.
The Commonwealth Fund reached that conclusion this week in a report that examined thoughts from actuaries, insurers, health policy researchers and federal officials. They concluded the overall health status of enrollees is more important than age to premiums.
“The role of young adults has likely been overemphasized,” said Sara Collins, report author and Commonwealth Fund vice president. “Their participation is important, but lower-than-expected enrollment this year won’t trigger market failure.”
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The report comes after less-than-impressive figures from the Obama administration on participation by young adults in PPACA. Though the administration’s latest numbers show more young adults are enrolling, the numbers remain much lower than initial projections.