Friday, January 17, 2014

Ages of CT insurance exchange consumers raising concerns

Board members of Access Health CT are now raising concerns about the age profile of the health insurance exchange’s consumers. Over one third (36%) of people buying insurance there are over age 55, but make up only 12.5% of CT’s total population and 7.7% of the uninsured. In contrast, young adults ages 18 to 34 are under-represented in the exchange – making up 9% of the pool but 21% of the population and 36% of CT’s uninsured. Analysts, and now some board members, are concerned because insurance pools with disproportionately older, and presumably higher cost, populations drive up premiums, as happened with the Charter Oak Plan. Exchange staff and others argued against the concerns, citing federal reinsurance provisions, and waiting to see data on health care utilization and the effect on premiums.