Recent data provided by the nation’s largest health insurance companies reveals that a provision of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is bringing big numbers of the uninsured into the health care insurance system.
And they are precisely the uninsured that we want– the young people who tend not to get sick.
The provision of the law that permits young adults under 26, long the largest uninsured demographic in the country, to remain on their parents’ health insurance program resulted in at least 600,000 newly insured Americans during the first quarter of 2011.
Wellpoint, the nation’s largest publicly traded health insurer with some 34 million customers, reports adding 280,000 new members in the first three months of 2011.
Add in the results of some of the other large health insurers including Aetna, who added just short of 100,000 newly insured to their customer base, Kaiser Permanente’s additional 90,000, and Highmark’s 72,000 new customers, and we begin to sense our health insurance pools are filling up with some badly needed young blood.
The Health & Human Services Department had estimated that the changes in the law would result in about 1.2 million new enrollees in 2011. However, according to Aaron Smith, the executive director of a Washington based non-profit that advocates for the young, it now looks as if that number will be exceeded.