If the future success of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) rests largely with the number of young people who sign up--and there's little doubt that it does--then there may finally be some good news for the new health insurance program.
"The Affordable Care Act is growing on them," even as more people have become more negative about Obamacare, according to the latest Bankrate.com health insurance survey released Tuesday.
Bankrate.com, a consumer financial website, also found that among all the groups it surveys regularly about Obamacare, 18- to 29-years-olds "were the most likely to say that their health insurance situation is improving" as well as their ability to pay for medical expenses.
But Harvard's Institute of Politics found just the opposite. Its poll of 18 to 29-year-olds released a day after the Bankrate survey found that a majority of millennials disapprove of Obamacare and less than 30% of uninsured millennials expect to sign up for it.
The success of the Affordable Care Act rests largely with young people because they are generally more healthy than others and more likely to be uninsured. Millennials account for about 40% of the estimated 41 million uninsured in the U.S. according to the White House, and therefore represent a large potential market for the health insurance program.
The Bankrate survey found that young people are more likely to relocate to find better and/or cheaper health insurance. Forty-two percent of respondents in the 18- to 29-year-old age bracket said that "finding better insurance, possibly with cheaper rates or more options, would be a minor or major reason to move," says Doug Whiteman, insurance analyst at Bankrate.com.
He tells The Daily Ticker in the video above, “When it comes to the Affordable Care Act it might be worth your while to move around. The rates in the health care exchanges are literally all over the map. Some states are expanding Medicaid and some states are not.”
And then there’s the HealthCare.gov website which has fixed many of its problems at the front end, but not necessarily at the back end. One hundred thousand people reportedly were able to sign up in November but it’s not clear that they or others who have signed up are officially enrolled with an insurer.
These “significant ‘backend’ issues must also be resolved to ensure that coverage can begin on Jan. 1, 2014,” Karen Ignani, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, told ABC News.
That said, Obama administration officials indicated on Dec. 1 they had met their goal of getting Healthcare.gov running smoothly. The Bankrate.com survey was conducted before that, from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24.
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