Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law in March 2010. On the surface-level, its promise to provide healthcare to millions of uninsured Americans sounds only like a benefit. While high-earners, corporations, and certain healthcare sectors are negatively affected by the law, those under the age of 35 are also specifically affected. Three reasons why:
1. Young people get sick less. Under Obamacare, young adults can stay on parents’ plans until they are 26. However, many young people tend to be healthy anyway and not need the coverage older Americans need. Since insurance companies are required to cover sick people, the costs of insurance increase for healthy young adults.
2. Job cuts. According to one section of the law, the employer mandate, businesses with over 50 full-time employees need to provide health coverage, or pay a monthly tax fee. The annual fee is $2,000 or $3,000 per employee, depending on the circumstance.
As a result, some businesses cut employee hours. On Investors.com, records of cuts include pay cuts to student employees at Penn State University, Pennsylvania full-time workers at David’s Bridal, New Jersey College Hunks movers, NJ’s Hollywood Casino, and several school districts, just to name a few. If you’re counting on that full-time job to pay the bills, just hope that your employer isn’t affected.
By 2016, businesses will need to provide 95% of their full-time workers with insurance, if they have over 100 full-timers.
3. Deadlines. Under the individual mandate, you should have obtained health coverage by January 2014. If you missed the deadline, you were expected to get an exemption or begin paying a tax penalty for each month you didn’t have insurance.
In 2014, the fee for being uninsured is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 for a family) or 1% of your taxable income, whichever is the greater cost. In 2015, the fee will increase to a whopping $325 per adult or $162.50 per child (up to $975 per household), or 2% of your taxable income, whichever is greater.
Eventually, Obamacare allowed enrollment to extend to May 1st, 2014 to avoid the financial penalties—but if you missed the May deadline, you now need to wait until November 15th, 2014 and see if you can be covered under “qualifying life events” with special enrollment.
Complicated, costly, and deterring its original purpose to afford healthcare to all citizens, Obamacare evidently has a few drawbacks for young Americans.