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HHS contest seeks videos encouraging young adults to buy insurance

By Jessica Zigmond

The Obama administration and a national organization called the Young Invincibles on Monday launched a monthlong video contest to encourage enrollment of uninsured young adults in health plans offered on the state insurance exchanges.

Healthy young Americans are considered a key target group for enrollment, because their low medical costs will keep premiums down on the exchanges and offset higher costs of older, sicker enrollees. But surveys show that many young people either are unaware of the requirement that they obtain coverage or else don't see the need. Most uninsured young people who don't have coverage through their employer are expected to qualify for federal subsidies to buy insurance.

The administration and Young Invincibles kicked off the Healthy Young America video competition to connect directly with—and raise awareness among—the young uninsured population through video views. The goal is also to use the videos as a way to further promote the law's benefits. The contest, which starts today, ends on Sept. 23 and includes three contests that each focus on different area.

The first contest centers on the myth of young people's “invincibility” and intends to show that all young people need insurance. The second contest will emphasize the broad benefits of health, with submissions focused on music. The third will feature educational videos that use motion graphics and infographics. People will be able to submit their entries—and vote for their favorite videos—at www.healthyyoungamerica.org.

“The millennial general has always been a creative generation, which is why we are so pleased to partner with HHS in launching the Healthy Young America video contest,” Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the Young Invincibles, said in a news release. “Educating millions of young people about the changes coming this year is vital to helping them achieve economic security.”

The Young Invincibles is a not-for-profit organization that aims to be a voice for people between the ages of 18 and 34 and expand economic opportunities for this age group.

For their efforts, contestants will be eligible to win some hefty financial prizes. The first-place finalist in each contest will win $3,000, while the second- and third-place finalists will win $2,500 each. The grand prize winner will take home an additional $2,000, according to HHS.

“Soon the health insurance marketplace will give uninsured young people the opportunity to enroll in affordable health insurance,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an announcement about the competition, “and the Healthy Young America video contest will help them tell their stories to other young people.”

Follow Jessica Zigmond on Twitter: @MHjzigmond


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