The Obama administration hopes that 40% of enrollees in the new health care exchanges will be between the ages of 18 and 34. The worst outcome would be 40% enrollment of older people (age 55 to 64). According to The New York Times, that unfortunate outcome is occurring in many states. Here are the counts in states reporting so far:
- The ratio of older enrollees to younger ones is 2 to 1 in Colorado, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, and Minnesota.
- The ratio of old to young is 1½ to 1 in California and Kentucky.
- Only in Maryland and Massachusetts do the number of young exceed the number of older enrollees.
The ratio of 2 older enrollees for 1 younger one does not give the real flavor of the age skew in Colorado, where as of November 30, 43 percent of enrollees were over age 55, and 61 percent were over age 45. Just 17 percent are aged 18 to 34.
No one knows the health status of exchange enrollees. Connect for Health Colorado, one of the more successful state exchanges, says that 15,074 people had enrolled as of December 9. The problem is that this is only 177 more Coloradans than were enrolled in the state and federal plans for the uninsurable, plans that are ending soon.