Young, Healthy People Will Pay More for Health Insurance
Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner, told lawmakers in the state House that the cost of health insurance for young people may double in coming years.
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
HARRISBURG – Young people in Pennsylvania might be surprised to learn that the federal Affordable Care Act may have been named ironically.
Michael Consedine, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner, told lawmakers in the state House on Thursday that the cost of health insurance for young, mostly healthy people may double in coming years as the provision of the federal health reform law take effect.
Consedine said the state Department of Insurance is expecting the next year to be a “disruptive” one because individuals who expect their rates to go down as the federal law kicks in may be a bit surprised.
Consedine explained the shock will likely be felt most by “young, healthy individuals who right now are getting the benefit of being young and healthy” because the current insurance underwriting process allows their health and other demographics to be considered and reflected in their premiums.
“That rating methodology goes away with the Affordable Care Act, and as a result we’re hearing from companies that based on this mandated rating formulas, that rates are going to go up, at least in the short term, for significant segments of the population.”
Full disclosure: yours truly is a young, mostly healthy person who lives in Pennsylvania, pays for his own health insurance and is none too excited about the prospect of that cost doubling in a few years.
Luckily, some of us may have an out – Executive Deputy Insurance Commissioner Randy Rohrbaugh told lawmakers that many young, healthy people may opt-out of the system, pay the federal penalty for not having insurance and end up saving money in the long run.
Of course that leaves only the less healthy, more costly people in the system. And it leaves that group of young people without insurance in the event that they need it.
So it goes.
Boehm is bureau chief for PA Independent. He can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com