Many factors affect the low numbers of insured among Generation Y.
Jan. 07--TECH-SAVVY MILLENNIALS -- the under-30 generation-- theoretically have the upper hand in today's job market because of their computer knowledge, flexibility and youthful energy.
But the unemployment rate for young people between ages 18 and 29 was 11.5 percent at year end. That was 3.7 percentage points higher than the jobless rate for the working-age population as a whole.
Joblessness was even higher for young African-Americans, at 22.1 percent, and for young Hispanics, at 12.2 percent.
Generation Opportunity, a national nonpartisan organization, says there's concern, too, that about 1.7 million young people aren't even looking for work, so they're not counted among the unemployed.
"The fact is that 2012 marked yet another year in which millennials were unable to find real opportunities in the vocations for which they trained and are qualified," said Matthew Faraci, senior vice president of communications at Generation Opportunity.
The result: Too many young people still are living at home with their parents, perhaps not making school loan payments, and not kickstarting a career that will help them build lifetime earnings and savings.
The American Academy of Actuaries also published in its Contingencies magazine a report about another negative economic impact likely to be faced by millennials: higher health care premium costs in the new insurance environment.
A study conducted by Kurt Giesa and Chris Carlson noted that the Affordable Care Act allows young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plan. But for young, single adults aged 21 to 29 who are buying health insurance on the nongroup market, they forecast hefty increases in premium costs.
Individuals in that age group with incomes beginning at about $25,000, who don't have premium assistance, may find that premium costs jump 42 percent for single coverage, their research indicated.
"This is because in today's market, younger enrollees can buy coverage that more closely reflects their expected actuarial costs based on their age, and this coverage is pooled with other similar risk classes in accordance with standard actuarial principles," according to the report. "The difference between young and old at similar income levels is that younger individuals at a given income level are much less likely to find it economically rational to purchase coverage if it takes up 9.5 percent of their income."
Even with premium assistance, the report predicted, about 80 percent of persons ages 21 to 29 are likely to pay more out of pocket for health coverage than they pay today.
"Higher rates for the younger population combined with low mandate penalties during the first years of the ACA implementation will result in adverse selection because younger individuals are likely to choose not to purchase coverage," according to America's Health Insurance Plans. "When these younger individuals do not enroll, destabilization of the individual market will occur, premiums will increase in the individual market for enrollees of all ages, and enrollment will decline."
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