SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Health insurance premiums could rise considerably if more young, healthy people don't enroll in the Affordable Care Act's health exchange.
In California, the state with the most uninsured Americans, most of those who have signed up are older people with medical issues or people who are desperate for coverage.
But the insurance plans depend on the young healthy demographic to offset the costs of older, sicker Americans. If the trend continues it could lead to increases in premiums and deductibles next year.
Just recently the enrollment figures for the new government health care exchanges were released and were lower than expected. About 26,000 people selected a health care plan on the federal health care exchange website in the first month of enrollment. Nationwide 106,185 individuals selected a plan. But the ages of those who have gotten coverage on the exchanges is unknown.
To get coverage by January 1, you must be enrolled by December 15. If you're not enrolled by March 15, you will be faced with penalties starting at $95 for the first year.
NewsChannel3 Anchor Shirin Rajaee reports.