John R. Graham, director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, says the intention of the extended timeframe is “to delay the negative consequences of the law as long as possible,” but it may not succeed at that.
Graham notes on September 23 of this year young adults up until their twenty-sixth birthday will have access to their parents’ employers’ plans. He predicts a selection bias regarding who will take advantage of it, because the employer mandates don’t take effect until 2014, and he expects this to push up insurance premiums soon.
“What is going to happen on or shortly after September 23 is that very sick young people will present themselves to their parents’ employers demanding coverage, and healthy young adults, who do not care about having health coverage, will not,” said Graham. “While insurance rates are normally adjusted yearly, you’re probably going to see a midyear rate increase because of this, and that is going to shock people.”