As open enrollment for 2017 Obamacare coverage begins, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting a new initiative to reach millennials who qualify for tax credits, but are not using them. The Affordable Care Act did a great deal to make health insurance available to everyone, especially for millennials. The rates for uninsured young adults have dropped considerably since 2010, but the CMS says that millions more millennials are still not taking advantage of the program.
The CMS estimates that around 90 percent of young adults with qualifying incomes would also qualify for tax incentives that would make health insurance more affordable. The problem is that most young adults have no idea they qualify for these incentives. As open enrollment starts, the CMS is working with the White House to spread the word and educate younger generations – specifically those aged 18 to 34 – on Obamacare.
Going Where Millennials Go
The CMS understands that millennials are not likely to get this new information from Healthcare.gov, so the government is going where millennials are known to go. Many popular social media platforms, such as gamer site Twitch.com, will start hosting ads from the CMS outlining the benefits of enrollment in various health care plans offered by the Affordable Care Act.
The CMS will also be touting its new mobile interface, which will make comparing plans during the enrollment process much easier this year. It’s estimated that 20 percent of all young adults access the internet exclusively through their smartphones. Previous limitations on the ACA mobile app explain why so many millennials did not bother to register. With the new and improved app, the CMS is confident that more millennials will be able to check out the available plans and enroll.
A Massive Effort to Encourage Millennial Response
The CMS and White House are not campaigning for millennial enrollment on their own. The list of associated organizations helping in this effort to reach young adults includes:
- American Hospital Association
- Autism Speaks
- The Truth Initiative
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- United Methodist Church
- American Medical Student Association
- March of Dimes
Dozens of groups are getting involved, and they will all be reaching out to millennials on social media using the hashtag #HealthyAdulting. Since many of these organizations are popular with the young adult demographic, the CMS expects to be able to reach millions of millennials quickly.
Government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will also be distributing helpful information to millennials while encouraging young enrollees to explore their health care options when signing up for various military programs. In addition, the IRS will be developing a list of millennials who could benefit from this information by pulling out the names of young adults who paid the federal tax penalty for not having health coverage.
The CMS is intent on getting as many millennials as possible to sign up for insurance and protect their health. With this combined initiative, the CMS anticipates that it can reach as many as 5 million young adults before the open enrollment period ends on January 31.