Obamacare needs young people to sign up to succeed

10:16 PM, Oct 31, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Experts say the Affordable Care Act's success rests on whether or not enough young people sign up.

But, the cost has to be right, and the interest has to be there. It's a gamble. But, a local group is betting they can make sure those uninsured millennials know all their options, and they're taking their message to libraries throughout the District this November.

The non-profit group Young Invincibles met up with DC Health Link Thursday to hold a forum at the Francis Gregory Library in Anacostia. The event was open to people of all ages and several showed up to get help deciphering the maze of information. 

David Bransfield is the nonpartisan group's State Outreach Coordinator. He says, "We're running events at libraries through November and we just want to make sure that people have access to the information that they need."

The group's goal is to make sure the 18-34 year-old demographic  informed about their healthcare options. Regina Alexander has her insurance through COBRA. She lives nearby and walked there, "I was having difficulty applying online. The workers are very experienced and they got me much further than I was able to do on my own." As a result, Alexander says she may qualify for a tax credit. 

It's been said that the success of what some call Obamacare lies in whether or not enough young healthy people sign up. That's the only way to counter the costs from an older and/or sick population, which helps keep premiums down.  Bransfield says, "A poll that we did at Young Invincibles found that only 5% of young people don't want insurance, the rest of us want to be insured and we want to make sure that those young people have the information they need to get that coverage."

A new Bankrate survey agrees and says interest is high among the young. But, just because they built it, will they come? Healthcare.gov says half of the young, uninsured population may end up paying $50 or less a month. 

The other half?

Bransfield explains, "It works on a sliding scale, so depending on how much income you earn, depends on how much of a credit you'll receive and the idea is that everyone will be able to afford insurance through the system."

Young Invincibles plans to take their message to college campuses throughout our area from November 10th to the 20th.

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