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Health care signups: More older Americans so far

Administration officials said they were pleased that the percentage of young adults signing up was as high as it was, given that the website was down for most of October.
Administration officials said they were pleased that the percentage of young adults signing up was as high as it was, given that the website was down for most of October.Jon Elswick/Associated Press/file 2013

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WASHINGTON — It’s an older, costlier crowd that’s signing up so far for health insurance under President Obama’s law, according to government figures released Monday. Enrollments are lower for the healthy, younger Americans who will be needed to keep premiums from rising.

Young adults from 18 to 34 are only 24 percent of total enrollment so far, the administration said in its first signup figures broken down for age, gender, and other details. With the healthcare.gov website now working, the figures cover the more than 2 million Americans who had signed up for government-subsidized private insurance through the end of December in new federal and state markets.

Enrolling young and healthy people is important because they generally pay more into the system than they take out, subsidizing older adults.

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