The participation of young, healthy individuals in the health insurance marketplace is important to its long-term success. But the latest numbers from Texas may not be enough to keep the Obamacare exchanges afloat.
The percentage of so-called "young invincibles" in Texas without health insurance has dropped by a third since the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The percentage of Texas young adults (18 – 34) without health insurance dropped from 33% to 21% between September 2013 and March 2016, according to a report issued by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation.
The young adult population now has a lower uninsured rate than that of the 36 – 49 age group.
But it still may not be enough.
Recent decisions by many health insurance companies participating in the Obamacare exchanges to drop out after this year have been blamed on the fact that such healthy individuals have largely stayed away from participation in the insurance pools. This drive up rates as sicker and less healthy patients obtain insurance in greater numbers than healthy people.
Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.