Insurance providers say focus is to sign up more 18 to 34 year o - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Insurance providers say focus is to sign up more 18 to 34 year olds

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Obama Administration recently rolled out celebrity ads that urge the younger generation to sign up for a health insurance place on or off the health exchange.

It's a group that Jay Lewis with Flowers-Lewis and Associates says is vital to the success of the program.

"In order for this- the Affordable Care Act to work, you have to have the younger generation in there because they're going to be paying the premiums but not utilizing the plan," Lewis explains.

So far, 48 percent of Georgians signed up for the plans are over 34 years old. Fifty-two percent of folks in Alabama are older than 34. Lewis says the low enrollment numbers for 18 to 34 year olds mean one of two things.

"A lot of your 18-34 year olds think they're young and invincible," Lewis adds. "And they don't need the coverage. They don't even want the coverage."

According to Lewis, as you age, you are more likely to use or need your insurance plan more, causing you to spend more benefit dollars than you're paying out for your premium. This cycle creates what Lewis calls a death spiral for providers that could be detrimental.

"And unless you get the percentage of millennials, as you say, into the system, it's not going to support itself," Lewis says.

In an effort to ensure this doesn't happen, President Obama's #GetCovered campaign aims to reverse that trend, pushing target group to get covered before the deadline of March 31st.

The open enrollment deadline is Monday March 31st. To learn more about the health insurance marketplace, head to www.wtvm.com and click on the Quick Links tab.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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