With the Oct. 1 launch date of Obamacare’s exchanges looming, Millennials are faced with a difficult decision: to purchase health insurance from the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces or opt to pay the fine instead.
Young Americans’ participation in the healthcare law is crucial to its success, with 2.7 million needed to register in order to keep the price of premiums down for all who choose coverage under Obamacare. But the cost of purchasing health insurance proves to be much higher than paying the fine instead.
Groups like Generation Opportunity have decided to reach out to young people in an effort to convince them to opt out of the Affordable Care Act, even going so far as to sponsor a bus tour to colleges nationwide. President Obama, though, continues to tout the low-cost premiums of health insurance offered under Obamacare.
According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for 20 to 24 year olds is $472 per week, or $24,544 a year. For 25 to 34 year olds, the median weekly salary rises to $706, or $36,712 annually. And when comparing what Millennials would pay for health insurance to the fine for not purchasing healthcare under the Affordable Care Act — 1 percent of one’s income — young people actually save money opting for the fee.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s health insurance subsidy calculator, a 22-year-old making the median salary, $24,544, qualifies for a subsidy of $872 but still pays $1,663 for Obamacare’s silver, or mid-level, health plan. Looking for something cheaper? The bronze plan costs approximately $1,229. But, if a 22-year-old opted to pay the fine instead, they would pay either $95 or 1 percent of their household income: $245.55. Still, paying the fine saves more money than purchasing insurance.
And for a 29-year-old making $36,712 annually, the cost of healthcare only grows. The silver plan, according to Kaiser’s health insurance subsidy calculator, costs $2,837 with no qualification of a subsidy. The bronze plan totals $2,351. But, if a 29-year-old opts to take the fee instead, it would cost $367.12.
Looking at the disparities between the cost of health insurance under Obamacare and the less expensive fee, we thought it would be fun to explore all the things a 22-year-old could buy with the money saved from opting out of the Affordable Care Act.
Here’s 11 things they could purchase with all that money saved: