President Obama declared that 35 percent of enrollees in the exchanges are under the age of 35. However, his statement is a piece of lawyerly evasion, as first identified by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post.
“Under 35″ includes children, and that is not who is needed in the exchanges. Most of them would have enrolled with their parents in a family health plan. Those minors add very little to the premium of a family plan. The young people needed in the exchanges are the so-called “Young Invincibles”, who are between the ages of 18 through 34. These comprise only 28 percent of enrollees in ObamaCare — almost one third fewer than the 40 percent needed.
And even the Young Invincibles who signed up for coverage in ObamaCare’s exchanges did not do it in response to the celebrated efforts by Obama’s re-engaged political machine to turn out the hipsters. Instead, a large share of them went to a non-ObamaCare website to enroll.
eHealth, Inc., which has operated an online marketplace for health insurance for over a decade, received permission to enroll people in ObamaCare in the 36 states that have federally operated exchanges. Instead of going to the broken healthcare.gov website, applicants could apply at eHealthInsurance.com. eHealth, Inc. reported that from October through December, 39 percent of applicants for ObamaCare coverage were between the ages of 18 through 34. For January through March, the proportion rose to 45 percent.
ObamaCare’s recruitment outreach to young adults fell woefully short. And without help from a privately operated online broker, it would have been even worse.