Young adults continue to have the highest rates of uninsurance, despite having seen the biggest gains in coverage rates under the Affordable Care Act.
That fact is worrisome to Obamacare advocates, as well as to insurers, since the premiums paid by healthier young adults enrolled in individual market health plans can offset the benefit costs incurred from covering older, less healthy customers.
A number of Obamacare insurers this year have cited an imbalanced risk pool — one in which they pay out more money in benefits than they take in from premiums — as a reason they need double-digit premium hikes, or why they are exiting Obamacare marketplaces.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal Obamacare exchange HealthCare.gov, said that more than 9 out of every 10 young adults who is eligible to enroll in an Obamacare plan have low or moderate incomes that would qualify them for federal tax credits that would reduce what they pay in monthly premiums.
"But that fact hasn't fully permeated the millennial community, and we want to change that," said Counihan, whose marketplace sells health plans in 38 states.
"This year, we'll be using new tactics and strategies to reach young adults where they are and deliver the message that they have affordable coverage options. These new tactics will both benefit young Americans and strengthen the marketplace risk pool."
Counihan and other officials this past summer said they would be focusing on boosting millennial sign-ups in the upcoming open enrollment season.
The IRS previously announced that it will conduct outreach about enrollment for the first time to uninsured adults who paid the Obamacare penalty for not having health coverage, or who claimed an exemption from that fine. Around 45 percent of tax filers who paid a penalty or who claimed an exemption are under age 35.