Humana: More People Under 40 Signing Up for Obamacare
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The Fiscal Times
February 5, 2014

Good news for Obamacare.  

The group most crucial to Obamacare’s success are signing up for coverage through the new health exchanges ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline according to Humana, a large health insurer. 

During a meeting with analysts and investors, Humana’s CEO Bruce Broussard said the insurance behemoth is “seeing enrollees skewing to the younger side,” Forbes reported. Humana execs added they are pleased with the mix of people they have enrolled so far and say they are confident that “they have priced their exchanges appropriately.”

Related: Why Millennials Are Obamacare’s Last Hope

Humana has received more than 200,000 applications through the federal and state health exchanges so far. Of those, some 37 percent were 40 years of age or younger since January 27. That’s a 2 percent gain since the end of December. 

This is welcome news for the White House, which has continuously stressed that it needs young Americans to account for at least 40 percent of total enrollment in order to offset the costs of premiums for older Americans who tend to rack up higher medical bills.

Humana’s trend in enrollment is in stark contrast to early observations by insurers and official numbers from the administration showing that enrollees tend to skew older. More than half of the 2.1 million people who signed up for health coverage on the exchanges between October and December were between 45 and 64 years old. Only 30 percent were under the age of 34.

Since then, more than 3 million people have enrolled on the federal and state exchanges, although only 80 percent have paid their first premium. Though it is not clear how many young Americans signed up for coverage in January, officials and advocates predict they will see a crush of enrollments among that demographic as the March 31 deadline draws closer.

Related: The Hidden Flaw in the Obamacare Marketing Plan

Advocates routinely point to Massachusetts in 2007, where the enrollment numbers for Bay Staters 35-years-old and younger more than doubled in the final month of open enrollment. The White House anticipates – or at least hopes -- Obamacare enrollments will follow a similar pattern.

To give these young people an extra nudge, the administration and its allies are ramping up outreach efforts—especially those catering to the younger demographic. 

This includes enlisting celebrities like Amy Poehler and Lady Gaga to star in an ad campaign for California’s state exchange. Not to be out done, Connecticut’s exchange is sponsoring summer music festivals featuring Robin Thicke and Fall Out Boy. 

Check out other examples of Obamacare’s millennial marketing campaign at The Week.   

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Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.