Washington state’s health exchange has just released an app for iPhone and Android users aimed at so-called "young invincibles," or young adults up to age 35. Their participation is crucial for the Affordable Care Act to work. But traditionally, this age group is least likely to buy health insurance for a variety of reasons.
Michael Marchand, spokesman for the state’s health exchange, says it’s crucial to have young adults in the mix of enrollees because they help even out the risk pool in the insurance population. But it’s a tough group to reach.
“We’re trying to get them to understand that having that health insurance is something that’s super important to their lives — it’s beneficial to them financially as well as to themselves personally,” Marchand said. “Hopefully if we can start getting people to understand that value then we can actually make inroads and get people signed up.”
Part of the state’s strategy is to reach young adults where they’re most accessible: on their cell phones.
Tamika Butler is California director of the nonprofit group Young Invincibles. The group’s goal is to reach out to young people about health care. It has helped states like Washington to develop the app.
Butler says young adults have one of the highest uninsured rates. “We’re going to the ER at a higher rate than any other age group outside of the senior population,” she said.
Butler said technology might be the most direct way to reach young adults, but other traditional methods, like meeting them face-to-face work, too. The main thing, she said is to engage them in the discussion.
To download the free mobile application, simply search for “Young Invicibles” in your mobile app store.