President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is depending heavily on young people buying coverage, but its costs are far out of reach for young adults.
Obamacare’s main objectives are to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance and to decrease the costs of health care.
This seems too good to be true – because it is.
Health insurance exchanges, online stores where consumers can compare and buy health insurance plans online, are currently taking off across the nation. This will result in a major modification on how people shop for and buy individual health insurance.
Appealing to the digital age, the ability to apply online is now available for these health insurance exchanges. The problem with these websites is that there are more than 100 plans for Floridians to pick from. For young adults who are comparing health insurance plans for the first time, this selection is tremendously too large.
For the exchanges to work properly, young adults have to buy coverage. The greatest concern of the Obama administration is whether or not healthy young people will actually buy health insurance.
Even though it is now a law, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, to have some kind of insurance coverage for employees, a recent study by the National Center for Public Policy Research demonstrates roughly 3.7 million people ages 18-34 will save at least $500 per year if they forget about paying for insurance and choose to pay the $95 penalty.
The federal government states health insurance marketplace premiums for 2014 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater start around $129 for the lowest catastrophic insurance but are still subject to change each year as the Obamacare health reform matures. The chance of “subject to change,” meaning continuous increases, could be a potential scare for young adults still trying to balance their budgets.
Insurance premiums for Florida can reach upwards of $721 a month. That is the equivalent to what someone would pay for rent, but it is used just on insurance coverage that may not be as necessary as a roof over one’s head. Consumers will need to balance the average premiums against the possibility of unpredictable, out-of-pocket expenses in plans with higher deductibles.
When most college students are living paycheck to paycheck, many can understand the additional cost of health insurance is often not a valuable option in their budgets.
Demi Danowit is a senior majoring in mass communications.