Obama admin targets millennial enrollees in #HealthyAdulting campaign

White House

The White House is pulling out all the stops to ensure 2017 open enrollment is a millennial-friendly experience.

On Tuesday morning, it hosted a Millennial Outreach and Engagement Summit to talk about ways health plans can enroll more young people--a coveted group for insurers seeking to add healthier enrollees to balance out the risk pool on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

At the summit, a millennial advocacy organization and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell teamed up to announce a new campaign called #HealthyAdulting.

Burwell said the campaign would unfold in three steps:

  • HHS will jumpstart messaging through paid partnerships, with partners such as the video platform Twitch.
  • The agency will continue to work with advocates to hold public discussions about enrollment and “real-life healthcare conversations young people are having.”
  • HHS will optimize young people's user experience when signing up for ACA plans. Stakeholders need to “meet young people where they are, [and] that’s usually on their phones,” Burwell said. 

Jen Mishory, executive director of Young Invincibles, a millennial advocacy group, said 5.2 million young adults have gained coverage since 2013, but 15 percent are still uninsured--a rate that's double than the national average.

When it comes to the intersection of young people and the ACA, “young adults disproportionately benefit from the premium tax credit,” Mishory added.  

Kyla King, marketing manager at Priority Health, agreed with fellow panelists that price is vital to young people’s decision about whether to sign up for ACA plans. To cater to this trend, in addition to offering a healthcare services price comparison tool, the payer sends $50-$200 visa giftcards to members who get services from a provider who charges market price or lower, she said.