Adults with health problems were slightly more likely to say they would use the marketplaces than adults with no health problems (65% vs. 57%). Supporters of the exchanges are banking on a healthy mix of younger enrollees to offset the cost of care provided for older and sicker people.
Clare Krusing, spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, says the plans have focused on making the coverage affordable to attract younger enrollees, but it's not clear if they'll sign up.
"Experience in the states clearly demonstrates that enacting health insurance reforms without ensuring broad participation, particularly among those who are younger and healthier, will have significant unintended consequences for consumers and employers," Krusing says.
"The healthcare reform law will expand access to insurance and broaden insurance benefits. Everyone can sign up, including those with pre-existing medical conditions. These new benefits bring new costs. Financial assistance will be available to help qualifying individuals and families pay for coverage. Even with this new assistance, the new benefits will cause some people who currently have insurance to pay more than they do today. When faced with higher health care costs, many younger, healthier people may choose to forgo purchasing coverage until they need it, especially when the penalty for not having insurance is as low as $95. If this happens, costs will go up for everyone, young and old."