The CMS, on Jan. 16, released advertisements featuring former NBA stars Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. Johnson has lived with HIV for more than two decades. Mourning retired from the NBA because of a life-threatening kidney disease, but subsequently returned to the court after receiving a transplant. The ads will air during basketball games on ESPN, TNT and other channels. “We know the young and healthy audience responds well to sports figures, and these 30-second ads feature two NBA legends that each have a compelling health story,” CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement.
States are making similar efforts to reach younger potential enrollees. Washington state's exchange, for example, is partnering with the concert promoter Live Nation to boost the online marketplace. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has signed on as a sponsor of the Sasquatch! Music Festival, which next takes place in May. On Feb. 3, the state exchange is sponsoring a launch party for the outdoor festival at Seattle's Neptune Theater that will feature performers such as Cold War Kids and St. Lucia. Richard Onizuka, the exchange's CEO, said the initiative would “leverage the affinity and trust that Washington concert-goers, specifically young adults, have for music.”
The latest enrollment figures for the state and federal exchanges show only 24% of exchange enrollees were under the age of 35. That's significantly less than the 33% to 40% figures that experts have cited as needed to build stable risk pools.
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