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HHS Launches Video Contest to Inform Young People About Affordable Care Act

‘Young invincibles’ pose challenge to health care law (August 20)

The “young invincibles” are what health policy experts call healthy young adults (aged 18 to 30 years) who don’t see being uninsured as a problem. But it is a problem, at least for the success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

That’s why the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering $30,000 in prizes for a national video contest in a direct appeal to members of the YouTube generation, who are used to creating and uploading free “content.” The HHS hopes to tap that creativity and essentially get young adults to market the PPACA to themselves.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the contest during a visit to a federally qualified community health clinic in Houston, Texas.

“We’re encouraging folks to create a song, or a graphic, or a video about the law’s benefits,” Sebelius said. “Like staying on their parent’s plan until they’re 26, not being denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition.”

Sebelius also spent part of her visit meeting privately with Houston politicians and health care stakeholders. She said local leaders in major Texas cities understand what the state leaders do not, that the PPACA will bring relief to overburdened local hospitals and property taxpayers, who foot the bill for the uninsured.

Last week, the HHS awarded $67 million to 105 Navigator grant applicants and recognized more than 100 national organizations and businesses who have volunteered to help consumers learn about the marketplace. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country are preparing to help enroll uninsured Americans in coverage, and a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options.

Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation; August 20, 2013; and HHS; August 19, 2013.

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