Or at least read these excerpts.
Request for readers
1. The healthcare.gov web site does not even let one access Catastrophic plans if one is over the age of 30. The shadow website, thehealthsherpa.com does not permit one to do so either probably because it was thought that the number of persons qualifying over 30 would be extremely small. When I just tried to chat with healthcare.gov and get the answer, I was told “ Sorry, Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat isn’t available right now. We’re having technical problems.” I have thus not yet been able to figure out what the prices are for someone over 30 with one of the new “hardship” exemptions. If anyone can figure out what prices over-age hardship exemption folks pay for a section 1302 Catastrophic Plan, please contact me.
2. How many people have purchased these Catastrophic plans anyway? The federal government has not released metal tier distribution data, but the data from a few states suggests that it is an extremely low number. Many under the age of 30 can stay on their parents plans and others find that it is not much better than a Bronze Plan or, under some circumstances, a worse deal. I would bet that the overall number of Catastrophic Plan enrollees thus far is less than 20,000. There is no subsidy for Catastrophic Plans. What would actually happen if people took advantage of the Secretary’s hardship exemption and instead of just pocketing the tax savings, these older insureds purchased these Catastrophic Plans. Could be the over 50s could end up being a greater number than the under 30s. We will see if I ever get an answer to question 1 above, but I suspect the insurance industry did not price the policies on the assumption that older enrollees would predominate.