U.S. President Barack Obama has lunch with five supporters of Obamacare at The Coupe restaurant in Washington, January 10, 2014.(REUTERS/Larry Downing)
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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 checkup 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.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 percent are 18 to 34 years old, according to a Reuters analysis.The administration had hoped that over 38 percent, or 2.7 million, of all enrollees in 2014 would be 18 to 35 years old, based on a Congressional Budget Office estimate that 7 million people would sign up by the end of March.One marketplace with current data, the District of Columbia, said Friday that of the 3,646 enrollees in private plans through Thursday, about 44 percent are young adults.Health care experts say insurers need a better mix of enrollees than seen in the early data.
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