Millennials: Sign Up for Obamacare Plans to Reduce Premiums!


If all millennials who were eligible enrolled in Obamacare plans, health insurers would be able to reduce premiums instead of raising them by double digits annually.

That dramatic statement was made by Scott Streator, a senior vice president of the market and product group at CareSource, a large nonprofit health plan based in Ohio. Streator made the comment at the White House Millennial Outreach and Enrollment Summit Sept. 27, where attendees discussed ways to get young adults to sign up for Obamacare plans.

On the same day, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new plans to reach young adults, including using Twitch, a social video platform for gamers.

More than 9 in 10 uninsured young adults who are eligible to buy Affordable Care Act exchange plans have incomes that qualify them for tax credit subsidies, “but that fact hasn’t fully penetrated the millennial community and we want to change that,” federal Chief Executive Officer Kevin Counihan said in a statement.

Reaching people between the ages of 18 and 34 is a top priority for the administration during the 2017 open enrollment period that will be held from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. Getting more young, healthy people is crucial to getting costs and premiums down for plans in the ACA exchanges, which have so far attracted older, sicker enrollees than was originally expected.

In June, the administration announced plans to partner with the Internal Revenue Service to contact 2015 tax filers who paid ACA penalties for not having qualified coverage or who claimed an exemption. For 2014, about 45 percent of taxpayers in those categories were under the age of 35, compared with about 30 percent of all taxpayers.

But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) objected, saying in a letter that the plan would “improperly use sensitive taxpayer information to identify and harass individuals who have rejected the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by choosing to pay a tax rather than be forced into a health care plan they don’t need and don’t want.”

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