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Obamacare may get sick if young Americans don't sign up

Published on Jan 12, 2014 9:16 PM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Now that more than 2 million people have signed up for private insurance plans created by President Barack Obama's health-care law, a crucial next check-up for the new marketplace will be to see how old customers are.

Early data from a handful of state exchanges shows the administration needs more young adults to sign up in the next three months to help offset costs from older enrollees and prevent insurers from raising their rates.

Critics of Mr Obama's Affordable Care Act say the market won't attract enough young people to keep it financially viable, putting more pressure on government funds to compensate for any insurer losses.

Data from seven states and the District of Columbia, which are running their own marketplaces, show that of more than 200,000 enrollees, nearly 22 per cent are 18 to 34 years old, according to a Reuters analysis.

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