ObamaCare is for your grandma

Statistically speaking, every single young person missing from Obamacare’s rolls has been replaced by someone 55 or older. At 33 percent of enrollment, this group is overrepresented by about 100 percent. This is the most expensive pre-Medicare age demographic, with estimated per capita costs up to five times those of young adults. Only three states and Washington, D.C., where all congressional staffers are required to enroll, even managed to sign up one young person for every old person. Ideally, the ratio should be two-to-one.

In short, Obamacare is for grandma. The elderly are packing into the exchange plans as though they’ve found the last train to Medicare. It’s not a good sign for the insurers – nor for the customers who will face higher rates next year if health costs exceed expectations.

Of course, the health of the enrollees is more important than their age. If the young who have signed up are exceptionally ill, things could be worse than they appear. We still know little about that, since health questions cannot be asked on the applications. But an ongoing Reuters-Ipsos survey suggests that as of Dec. 31, Obamacare enrollees are 46 percent more likely than the average uninsured person to have chronic conditions and 67 percent more likely to have a disability requiring care.