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Young invincible provision points to lingering questions about cost and sustainability

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By Thomas D. Snook | 15 September 2009

A new paper published by Sen. Max Baucus over Labor Day weekend, Framework for Comprehensive Health Reform, introduces a new concept to the healthcare reform discussion: special policies for "young invincibles"--the healthier, younger lives that have typically not purchased coverage in the voluntary market. While this concept originates from practical concerns, it also has cost consequences, especially if new rating rules suggested in various healthcare reform bills are enacted.

This paper examines the "young invincible" concept and also looks at how it ties in with notions of "actuarial value" as reformers look to establish the future healthcare system.