Younger Americans will see big jump in health premium increases

Americans under the age of 35 can expect their individual health insurance premiums to rise by about 17 percent, or roughly $42 per month, by 2014, according to a RAND Health analysis for the Associated Press.

Under the new health reform law, insurers can charge older customers no more than three times more than they charge younger customers, leaving the younger folks to make up the difference. Prior to health reform, it wasn't uncommon for insurers to charge older customers--who cost more to cover--up to seven times as much as younger customers. Younger males in particular will be affected because they currently pay less than younger females and older people on healthcare, according to Jim O'Connor of consulting firm Milliman Inc. 

Landon Gibbs, whose nonprofit ShoutAmerica educates young people about healthcare issues, predicts that some younger people could get socked with up to 50 percent increases. 

"We don't want to make this a generational war, but we want to make sure young adults are informed," Gibbs told the AP

Despite RAND Health's figures, tax credits to offset such costs were not taken into account. Individuals making up to four times the federal poverty level, or $43,322, will be eligible for such credits. Furthermore, individuals ages 26 and younger still will be able to obtain coverage on their parents' plans, and lower-income individuals will be eligible for coverage under Medicaid. 

For more information:
- read this Associated Press article
- read this Indiana Daily Student article

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