Obamacare surprise: Young people want coverage

Most adults under 30 clamor for health insurance, according to a new survey. They're still iffy about the new mandate, though.

By Jason Notte Jun 19, 2013 4:06PM
Image: Reflections and Dreams © Uygar Ozel, Vetta, Getty ImagesYouth and perceived invincibility apparently had a falling-out after the recession.

Despite the National Review's claim that America's young people would sink the Affordable Care Act with their presumed immortality and belief that illness doesn't apply to them, it turns out that graying columnists aren't all that hip to what the kids are into these days.

A survey of 1,505 people conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, among people aged 18 to 25, 77% said having health insurance was personally important to them and 76% said it was something they needed. A full 65% were worried about paying medical bills from an accident or illness, while 76% say insurance is worth the cost.

While those percentages were still lower than the 87% of people of all ages who felt insurance was important and 88% who cited it as a need, they were only marginally different than the responses of people ages 26 to 30.

"While young adults are sometime described as viewing themselves as 'young invincibles,' the poll findings indicate that many young adults worry about affording medical bills, particularly catastrophic ones," the report says.

Those same young Americans would also benefit most from tax credits that offset the cost of insurance to people earning up to four times the federal poverty level, or $45,960 for a single person this year. According to consulting firm Avalere Health, about two-thirds of people younger than 30 would qualify for those subsidies.

They're also the demographic that would qualify for bare-bones insurance that was cheap even before so-called Obamacare, but will likely pay more under a mandated set of benefits that prohibits exclusion of pre-existing conditions. While they may like the idea of insurance coverage, they're also living in a country that's generally skeptical of the Affordable Care Act's coverage.

Critics who say it goes too far and those who think it doesn't go far enough have combined to make up 43% of the people Kaiser surveyed who said they had an unfavorable view of the health care mandate. Only 35% said they viewed it favorably.

So, no, young people don't think they're invincible. They're just not so sure anyone's working to keep them healthier and safer, either.

More on moneyNOW
Jun 19, 2013 5:28PM
Who was the idiot that said three years ago "If you like the health care plan that you have now, you can keep it and will not have to change your health insurance?"  Oh! Yeah.  That's right.  He is an idiot isn't he?
Jun 19, 2013 4:55PM
18 to 25 years old are on their parents medical and that is very affordable to them. Wait until they
turn 27 and have to pay for it if they think it's affordable!

Jun 19, 2013 4:36PM
When has adding more red tape ever made anything more affordable?
Jun 19, 2013 7:19PM

They want the insurance, but are they willing and able to pay the cost?


They were asked if they wanted it, were they also asked if they would buy it at the price it will cost?

Jun 19, 2013 5:32PM
What you talkin' bout Willis?  They get tax credits?  So I (we) have to pay for their insurance (the working tax payers)?  Just as I thought....this Obama-Care is nothing but a re-distribution of the working man's earnings to be distributed among the slackers, ne'erdowells, free loaders and shysters a.k.a. democrats.
Jun 19, 2013 7:07PM
What people say they'll do and what they actually do are often completely different things.
Jun 19, 2013 6:11PM
If you live in California, are single, 28 years old, and earn $30K per year you will pay $209 per month for insurance premiums. If you earn $35K per you will pay $250 per month. That's approx. 11% of take home pay ...before deductibles and co-pays. In other words, pretty expensive coverage. For a 50 year old earning $46K the premiums amount to 22% of take home pay. Very expensive health insurance.
Jun 19, 2013 5:25PM
So 76% of the young and ill informed think that having health insurance is personally important to them?  Just wait until they find out that Obama-Care was structured for them to pay more in health insurance cost to subsidize the cost incurred by the group that is running up all of the big health bills, those over 60.  Well, there is a sucker born every minute.   
Jun 19, 2013 5:16PM
Health care needs to be put on the free market. Get government out of it. Health care will be considerable less expensive. It is the government that is causing it high costs!!!!
Jun 19, 2013 7:29PM

I did some math and quickly determined that the Individual Mandate part of Obamacare is unsustainable and will fail within 5 years.


Some assumptions:


Age of person buying indiividual policy in CA - 55 years.

Monthly income - $7500 before taxes

Year 1 monthly premium $586

Combined tax rate - 30%

Annual rise in premiums - 15% (below historical averages - assuming some cost savings)

Annual increase in monthly pay - 2% (rough average over past 5 years)


In Year 1 the person will pay 11% of takehome pay for premiums. This does not include deductibles and co-pays if they require medical care.


In Year 5 it jumps to 20%.


In Year 10 it jumps to 37%


For monthly income at year 1 of $5000 year 5 premium jumps to 30% of take home pay. And at Year 10 it is 56% of take home pay.


With these kinds of numbers I can't see many middle income people affording to purchase individual coverage under Obamacare. Many millions of Americans will remain uninsured, regardless of penalties imposed by the IRS.



Jun 20, 2013 5:45AM
Another misleading survey by Obama lovers. They forgot to ask the simple question of how many would  actually  get it due to the cost when they are forced to buy it or pay the fine(Tax).
Jun 19, 2013 8:56PM

I WANT a Bentley, Ferrari, yacht, home in Bermuda, billion $ portfolio. This is the sillest view of healthcare I have ever seen.

I want people to live forever. Fat chance.

Kaiser must be one of those companies that Kathleen Sibelius extorted donations from to present this absuridity.

Jun 19, 2013 5:44PM
Who has to pay for all of the tax credits that the author referenced?  They are free right?  No one has to pay.  The U. S. Treasury just gives the money away to those that need it.  Geeze.
Jun 20, 2013 12:37AM
BO was unqualified for the Presidency when he won it and nothing he's done since then changed that.. The one thing that Gingrich said that was 100% correct is that BO's spending is like giving a kid a credit card. He has no concept of money least of all ours.
Jun 19, 2013 9:00PM

This is a dumb article. Young people want health coverage. No surprise there. They don't trust Obama or the new mandated policies and insurance. No surpirse there, either.

I do like the way the author wrote the headline to appear as if young people specifically wanted Obamacare. (as if they have any choice). Then stated that they're unsure about it. Liberal media... equals nothing but increasing propaganda and veiled truths.

Jun 20, 2013 10:10AM
Just a note to all.  Just because you don't have insurance doesn't mean that you get "free care" at the emergency room.  I don't have insurance and if I don't pay the hospital I'll be sued.  If anything they charge you alot more if you don't have insurance.  The only people who get "free loading care" at the emergency room are the same welfare rats that suck the system dry already and if you vote Democrat then you are supporting those lazy rats!  Wake up!  Republican's aren't your best friend (no politician is) they are your only friend.  But, at least Republican's want to empower people to help themselves instead of being a nanny.  One day the government's outlay's will be unsustainable even if they confiscated every dime from everyone!  What will you do then?  Obama will continue blaming Bush and the lemmings will continue blaming Republicans.
Jun 20, 2013 8:38AM
The youth today are totally inept to the cost of the health care insurance they want.  Wonder how they will feel when 30% of their take home pay disappears from their checks?  Of coarse we know how the indoctrination programs work.  You can get the results you want from wording and phrases.  These youth also are clueless when it comes to death squads and their participation in what can be treated.  We saw how that worked a couple of weeks ago with a 10 year old and her lung transplant.  But after the full implementation of IDIOT Care(named after the idiot who helped implement it)  there will be no judicial intervening.  The death squads decision will be the only one under the law.
Jun 19, 2013 5:42PM

This article is about young adults right?  I thought that, per Barry Obama-Care, the young adults get to be kept on Mommy's insurance until they turned 26 (at Mommy's expense).  So young, as used in this article must be middle aged right?

Jun 20, 2013 6:03AM
Wait unitl they get a load of the bureaucracy they have to deal with. That should show them the value add that government adds to their lives. Maybe the frustrations of dealing with the bureaucrats will cause them to change their view of big government.  Of course they will be subsidized as the only jobs created are for low wages. They have MCA degrees- Masters in Cashiers Administration.
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