Young Americans voted, now they will have to pay the price–and it’s a hefty one.
President Obama ran his youth campaign on the fact that “kids” up to the age of 26 can stay on their parents health care plan. Well, they bought it, but the President never once mentioned the devastating amounts of money they will have to fork over to be insured.
Newly written rules of the Affordable Care Act require the elderly to pay no more than three times has much in their healthcare premiums than young people. Americans over 60 currently pay about 5 times more on their healthcare premiums than young people, but that’s not surprising–young people on average are far healthier. The new law forces young people to pay more on their premiums to make the premiums for older Americans cheaper.
Young people ages 18-24 will be forced to pay at least 45 percent higher healthcare premiums when the law takes effect in 2014, while the rates for those over 60 will drop 13 percent. But this is based off of 5-year age group estimates. The costs could be even more devastating because the new law restricts the charge to 1-year age groups.
Healthcare spending rises on average 3.5 percent each succeeding year of age. 18-year olds spend on average $1,834 annually for healthcare while 64 year olds spend $5,511 on average. With the 1-year age group mandates, insurance companies will be forced to charge 18-year-olds at least 10 percent more to ensure their elders are only pay 3 times more on their health care premiums.
Students are already witnessing spikes in their student health care costs. Many schools across the nation have already jacked up the price of their student health care plans due to Obamacare. For example, a Guilford College student got an e-mail from his school saying, “For the 2012-13 academic year, the annual cost of the student health insurance is increasing from $668 to $1,179. This insurance premium has been charged to your student account.” Some schools have had to raise the price as much as 1,112 percent to comply with the law.
This sure isn’t pocket change for the many students paying their own way through college.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for 20-24 year olds is $461, compared to $887 for 55-64 year olds. With the average graduate saddled with over $26,000 in student loan debt and making twice as less, is it really fair to subsidize the health care premiums of older Americans?
No, and young Americans will be better off paying the annoying $695 penalty.
But, this is what young voters voted for. They bought into the Obama rhetoric that Obamacare will allow them to stay on your parents plan until age 26. What they didn’t hear–or bother to investigate–is that staying on your parents plan only means you will be unemployed or underemployed. Businesses are required or incentivized to insure their employers.
So be it the individual, the employer, or mom and dad–someone will have to stomach the inevitable rise in health care costs. We can stop calling it the “Affordable Care Act” now. The Affordable Care Act is anything but “affordable” for young Americans.
By Celia Bigelow, American Majority Action Campus Director