Young Invincibles Needed in the Health Insurance Exchanges

Young Invincibles Needed in the Health Insurance ExchangesOk, so we’re pretty sure you have more important things to think about as you prepare for your holiday gatherings, but The Feds and the health care industry are hoping that you will be talking amongst yourselves about health insurance.  Will you?

According to a recent Reuters’ article:  “the White House and its allies are making an urgent new pitch to ‘young invincibles’ who may question whether they need health coverage.”

As you might recall, the Obama administration deployed a nationwide celebrity blitz in the summer of 2013, in an effort to get young and healthy adults to enroll in the health insurance exchanges since polls were showing that many in that demographic were unaware of the Affordable Care Act nor its October 01, 2013 roll out AND this demographic is key to the success of the exchanges.

However, as you might also recall, the federal health insurance exchange website had numerous problems and so the “celebrity blitz” was halted until the site was more fully functional.

Now that the HealthCare.gov website is functioning better and enrollment deadlines for 2014 are looming closer (in fact, some have already past), the White House and its allies are making an urgent new pitch to “young invincibles” who may question whether they even need health insurnce coverage.

The Urgent New Pitch to “Young Invincibles”

The fed’s new pitch is focused more on the affordability of health insurance, at least as compared to what these young adults may think, especally if they also qualify for federal subsidies.  The other part of the pitch is casting their participation in the health insurance exchanges as part of their social responsibility and encouraging “peers and parents to put pressure on the uninsured.”

Regardless of how many do sign up through the health insurance exchanges, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimages that “about one-third or more will need to be young, healthy adults whose payments into the system would help offset the costs of covering older, sicker people who require more care.”

Of course, the White House made the task of signing up young people even tougher because they decided last week to allow those “who have had their current policies canceled because they do not meet the standards of the new law…to buy a bare-bones plan or go without insurance” until 2015.

The Reuters’ article goes on to say that:

If Obamacare does not enroll enough “young invincibles,” analysts warn the program could face a financial “death spiral.” Insurers would need to raise premiums to pay for covering a sicker population. That could deter young people from enrolling, and private insurers would lose their incentive to participate.

A recent Harvard University poll suggested that young people were souring on the program, with 57 percent saying they disapproved of it. In the poll of 18-to 29-year-olds, fewer than 3 in 10 who were uninsured said they definitely or probably would enroll.

“Most of the new enrollment push for young Americans is being carried out by advocacy groups” in various ways:

  • “one-on-one discussions that emphasize the economics and security of health insurance;”
  • “The ‘Tell a Friend – Get Covered’ campaign, sponsored by Covered California and the advocacy group Enroll America, aims to promote healthcare conversations among friends and neighbors;”
  • “Generation Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based group focused on youth issues, has published blogs aimed at explaining the health law;”
  • “a group called Young Invincibles has launched a mobile app that allows people to calculate the federal subsidies they would receive if they bought health insurance through HealthCare.gov’s marketplace;”
  • “Other blogs linked on Twitter and Facebook tout people who have gotten good deals on insurance through Obamacare” including one article a colleague heard yesterday on NPR.

2 key deadlines are looming:

  1. Those who want coverage to begin on January 01, 2014 need to sign up midnight Christmas Eve, “although some states have indicated they will extend that deadline.”
  2. ” By March 31, most Americans must have health coverage or face penalties that start at $95.”

“Despite the threat of penalties, many young adults remain on the fence when it comes to Obamacare.”

So, here’s our question:  will you be discussing this issue over Christmas dinner?  Will you be encouraging or discouraging the young adults in your circle to participate in the health insurance exchanges?

Please share in the comments section below or on our facebook page.

Of course, if you would like assistance with ensuring coverage for you or your loved ones in 2014 and beyond, please complete the form below and one of our experts will be in touch with you right away!

Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at Geldin Insurance Services!

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