More lawmakers are pushing for a delay of the healthcare reform law's individual mandate, which could prove extremely problematic for the insurance industry. That's because the entire framework of the law hinges on enticing enough young, healthy consumers to purchase coverage and counterbalance older, sicker customers. The fear is that without the threat of a financial penalty, few young adults will seek coverage on the exchanges.
“The bottom line is that the individual mandate is an integral part of the law that helps ensure that the market is going to be viable and that it's not going to be just the sick people that enroll,” said Cori Uccello, senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries. “Without that provision, the premiums would be higher because the less healthy people would be the ones who would be more motivated to get coverage.”