Colorado enrollment spikes, but age may be a problem
Colorado state capitol
December 9th, 2013
07:03 PM ET
9 years ago

Colorado enrollment spikes, but age may be a problem

(CNN) - Health insurance enrollment in at least one state appears to be picking up.

Colorado’s state-based insurance exchange Connect for Colorado announced on Monday that more than 5,000 new customers have purchased private insurance since November 30, increasing the state’s total enrollment numbers in private plans by more than 50 percent.

As of November 30, just 9,980 Coloradans had purchased private insurance. But that number has increased to over 15,000 since, according to Monday’s announcement.

Another 64,290 had enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program as of November 30, putting the state’s total enrollment at 74,270 for the first two months of the exchange.

But if current trends continue, the exchange may have an age problem.

Demographic information released at the end of November shows the makeup of the exchange so far skews much older than federal officials have targeted.

The White House has set a goal of ensuring that roughly 40% of all enrollees on the federal exchange are young and healthy.

As of November 30, just 11% of total enrollees in Colorado’s exchange fall into the targeted 18 to 34 age bracket. The majority of new enrollees – more than 60% – are between 45 and 65.

But federal officials have predicted that younger consumers will wait until the last minute to enroll.

These enrollment numbers in Colorado are despite an aggressive marketing campaign in the state organized by ProgressNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative called “Got Insurance?” that targets younger consumers.

One ad in the series, dubbed the “Brosurance” ad, features two college-aged men drinking from red plastic cups while holding a third man doing a keg stand.

“Keg stands are crazy,” the ad reads. “Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered.”

The ad garnered a lot of attention and was even publicly derided by a Colorado Republican Congressman during a hearing featuring Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Filed under: Healthcare • Kathleen Sebelius
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. simplyput

    What part of cutting $455 Billion from Medicare budget to pay for Obamacare makes sense to older, sicker people who have paid into Medicare/SS all their lives? Just a ponzi scheme, folks. We'll all have to pay. No part of FDR's social agenda was based on income redistribution, but it's here now. Hope the kids like paying for it too.

    December 9, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. TeaParty4Life

    Dems relying on young people/nieve!! Pathetic losers...can't outsmart people who've been around and know conartists when we see them. Just keep trying losers and watch your agenda crumble!!!! Lol

    December 9, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. Peppy

    Im sure they will be glad to know that most Doctors are dropping out of Obummercare

    December 9, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    ACA is a Law. It will spike up. Lot more enrollments take place.

    December 9, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    If you build it, they will come. The numbers signing up for any republican plan is still zero, because the GOP has nothing to offer. In the end, the republicans, Fox, and the Kochs will be on the wrong side of history

    December 9, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    So ,15000 paying customers and 65000 non paying. That's a pretty good ratio! This is going to be great for this country.

    December 9, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. penguin

    The only way to assure that the young sign up is to deny medical treatment to anyone not insured. But we as a nation are too compassionet to not provide treatment to everyone.

    December 9, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. S. B. Stein

    The ratio will change over time. There will be more young people joining.

    December 9, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. MaryM

    It will be just like the college kids turning in their term paper at the last minute. That is just what kids do, wait to the last minute

    December 9, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Pigpen

    Someone please help me with information on the plan to fund this endeavor. If I read this correctly, of the approximately 90k people enrolled, 74k are going on Medicaid. The ratio of older:younger is 6:1. (CA released a report indicating similar, but less extreme results for October) I have also read that many younger people are receiving subsidies due to their relative lack of income and wealth. Combined, it seems there is not enough revenue to make this work without massive infusions from the government. It does not seem that the current tax plan, up to 2.5% of AGI as a penalty and other tax increases, built into the ACA will be sufficient. What is the plan to generate the rest of the revenue?

    December 9, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  11. HenryMiller

    "As of November 30, just 11% of total enrollees in Colorado’s exchange fall into the targeted 18 to 34 age bracket."

    Surprise, surprise!

    Yet another step in the long, slow, failure of Obamacare. Mostly, the only people signing up are Medicaid losers who just want someone else to pay their bills, and older people who think it's cool to get lower premiums at the expense of younger ones.

    December 9, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. Colorado is america

    dont drag my state into another propaganda attempt to promote the sinking ship of obama and obamacare.... we are the state of legal pot, gun rights, low taxes, a balanced budget and real americans who are ready to fight the enemys of america.... not looser socialists

    December 9, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Dr. Cole

    The age factor will be the prime reason that Obamacare premiums will go higher than expected. It drives me nuts that Obama is directing so much marketing and attention at getting "young healthy" people to sign up for insurance. That demographic is a major reason why insurance is mandated. It's as bad as someone trying to force you to purchase and extended warranty package.

    December 9, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. josh

    5,000 people signed up for mandatory health insurance. Wow. Well at least those who were barely getting by before can now look forward to having a another monthly expense.

    December 10, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. kelly

    80k more people with healthcare.

    December 10, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  16. orrball

    only people that were screwed by losing there insurance and really need it are signing up I am sorry but Obama will hold out until people that were being treated and are not after Jan.1 die

    December 10, 2013 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  17. Colorado Scholar

    I live in Colorado and I'm 28. Due to my plan being cancelled because of ObamaCare, I am dropping insurance entirely. The prices on the exchange are outrageous. For the amount of time that I spend going to the doctor's office, at those prices I am just throwing money away. A few of my coworkers (all in the same age bracket) are doing the same thing.

    It also drives college students on this state to take classes online from other schools since you don't have to prove you have health insurance that way. I know one guy who is turning down state schools and just going to go to community college for a year (no insurance requirement), and then finishing up online.

    We're slowly figuring this law out. We will not allow our money to be stolen just to prop up the richer old people and those that take subsidies to get health insurance they don't deserve. Oh, and I hope democrats in this state get a clue. About a third of my coworkers dropping their insurance are actually liberals. The majority of us are independent.

    December 10, 2013 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  18. Richard Long

    Majority of people that enrolled were for Medicaid not Obamacare. The headline is another attempt to put "lipstick on a pig". The demographic that Obama was banking on to fund Obamacare already seen the nightmarish premiums and deductibles that await them if they sign up. Why should they when they can pay the cheaper fine or stay in their parents until 26?

    December 10, 2013 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  19. croaton999

    Obamacare is now in the death spiral. Health insurance is going to cost much, much more in the future before collapsing altogether. Pity.

    December 10, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  20. Ben

    They are counting on thousands of young people paying more for less out of the goodness of their hearts.

    Might as well wait for pigs to fly.

    December 10, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  21. Bryan

    This is pretty low even for cnn. From 10/1 until 11/30 65,000 people sign up for Medicaid and 9500 sign up for Obama care

    From 11/1 until 12/10 5000 more people sign up for Obamacare but somehow they forget to release the Medicaid numbers?

    To date 75000 people got covered under Obama care in Colarado. However , 290,000 have lost their coverage. Shouldn't this fact be included in this propaganda peice?

    December 10, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  22. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Just more GOP party of the stupid propaganda ,while they continue to try to sabatuage the new healthcare law while having nothing to offer!!!!!!

    December 10, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  23. hkirwin

    When the smokes clears medicard will have quadrupled. All funded by the taxpayers. The cost of Obamacare for those under 45 will double and then triple. The GM bailout just cost the taxpayers 10 billion. How much more can the shrinking tax payer base bare?

    December 10, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |