As Megan McArdle wrote earlier this week about national health insurance enrollments,
Demographics matter a lot because they will help determine whether the health insurance market goes into a death spiral (or requires hefty federal subsidies to keep it from doing so). Young healthy people, and a lot of them, are needed to keep the market stable and premiums low. As we head into the final few weeks, we have a pretty good idea of how many young healthy people there will be, and the answer is: a whole lot fewer than the health-care wonks were expecting.
She notes that the federal government had projected that 40 percent of enrollees would be between the ages of 18 and 35.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange released its February enrollment report (more detailed than the weekly reports) yesterday. According to the report, of qualified (private) health plan enrollment through the exchange, only 23.3 percent are 18-34 years old. The number in this age cohort could very well spike in March (the last month of open enrollment), but it seems doubtful that it will get near that 40 percent number.
The February enrollment report also shows that 81.9 percent of private plan enrollees qualified for a tax credit. For the basic enrollment numbers through March 13, see here.