This post originally appeared on Mom’s Rising’s blog on November 8th, 2013
Last month, YI stopped by my home state of Texas to launch the Healthy Young America Video Contest with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Check out more information about the contest, including how you can win cash prizes here and here. Hurry, the submission deadline is the 23rd!
So why did we launch this video contest? It’s simple: over 19 million 18 to 34 year olds are uninsured. And beginning October 1, the way we do business when it comes to health coverage in this country will change forever. In this case, change is a good thing, and we want to help our generation educate each other about what’s happening through fun, shareable videos.
Prior to the announcement, Erin Hemlin, YI’s National Organizing and Programs Manager, conducted a training for Houston area health care non-profits, college administrators, health service providers, and other individuals working with uninsured young Texans.
Houston was only one stop on a nationwide effort by the YI team to reach out to those on the front lines, edu
cating the public about changes. If you’re a health care advocate in your community, check out our Healthy Young America website for state-by-state fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, and advocate toolkits. You can even download our health care mobile app!
And a special shout out to our hosts, Legacy Community Health Services! As we say in Texas, “Thanks, y’all, don’t be a stranger!”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 19, 2013
Contact: Colin Seeberger, email@example.com, 214-223-2913
HHS Launches Partnership and Video Contest with Young Invincibles
Houston, TX – Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Young Invincibles announced the Healthy Young America Video Contest in an effort to inform young people about health insurance coverage and new options under the Affordable Care Act. The public can submit entries and vote for their favorite videos atwww.healthyyoungamerica.org.
“For millions of young people, health insurance hasn’t been an option because it’s always been out of reach—because it costs too much, or isn’t offered through a job,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Health Insurance Marketplace gives uninsured young people the opportunity to enroll in affordable health insurance, and the Healthy Young America video contest is meant to tell their stories to other young people and help them find the security of health insurance they deserve.”
Over 19 million young adults across the country lack basic health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act promises to make health care more affordable and accessible for millions of young adults across the country. Already, about 3 million previously uninsured young adults have joined their parents’ health insurance plan. Over the coming years, as many as 17 million more could be eligible for free or reduced-cost coverage as states expand their Medicaid programs and young adults access new tax credits through online exchanges.
“The Millennial generation 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. Educating millions of young people about changes coming this year is vital to helping them achieve economic security,” Aaron Smith, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “This competition will engage young people by reaching them through a medium that they prefer to use when sharing and receiving content.”
Young Invincibles is in the midst of a nationwide campaign designed to inform this generation about coming changes and new options. The campaign includes health care “train the trainers” to ensure that community leaders are informed about new changes; a website with FAQs to educate consumers and advocates; outreach and enrollment events this fall: and a mobile app that help consumers learn about their options and find local health care services.
Young people can access a variety of online and in-person tools to get answers to their questions and on October 1st, enroll in health insurance. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HealthCare.gov. Last week, HHS announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants and more than 100 national organizations and businesses who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the Marketplace.
Additionally, people can call the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center and get answers to their questions in 150 languages. 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 trusted local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options. In addition, HHS has begun training other individuals who will be providing in-person assistance, such as agents and brokers and certified application counselors.
For contest rules, to submit a video or vote for your favorite video, go to healthyyoungamerica.org.
Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.
By Spencer Dixon
Call us generation vibrant. We party (too) hard sometimes, play intense games of kickball, and yes, we get injured or sick — more often than we’d like to admit. So most young people generally agree – we need health coverage and we worry about paying for needed care. And we update the world about all of this online, as it’s happening. (Share this blog if you’ve seen some version of the Facebook status update: “At the ER, got hit with a softball!”).
So with open enrollment for Obamacare starting October 1st, Young Invincibles teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to host the Healthy Young America online video contest. This isn’t your mom’s contest (sorry mom, though you can try too). With a prize pool worth up to $30,000, over 100 prizes to be won, and hilarious categories, you do not want to miss out.
Check out the three different contest themes below.
1) You Are Not Invincible:
Source via Documenting Reality.
Calling all aspiring directors. The ‘You Are Not Invincible’ theme lets you to show off your creative and wacky side. Videos should be a short skit that shows a time when a young person would need health insurance. Accidents happen. Just ask Scarlet; I can only hope she had health insurance after this infamous wipeout. Entrants are encouraged to go big but stay safe!
2) Perform a Song:
Source via Imgur.
Or if you’re more musically inclined, the ‘Perform a Song’ theme may be your fit. Write a song about health insurance or even create the next viral parody. I’m curious if anyone will put a cowbell into their health care song.
Source via Tumblr.
Or if you have serious computer animation skills, you could create an engaging, informative video about critical facts of Obamacare. Remember how great these were in helping remember history?
Your participation in the contest is about more than the opportunity to win money to help pay off those pesky student loans; this is your chance to help your friends and other young people learn about their new health insurance options. Over 19 million young adults (ages 18-34) across the country lack basic health insurance. Changes this fall will open up new opportunities for our generation to purchase coverage they and their families need.
Help get the word out, be a part of the solution, and win some cash!
You’ve got less than five weeks to enter your video, so get started now! For more information, visit HealthyYoungAmerica.org
Dear Sir or Madam:
Young Invincibles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to amplify the voices of young Americans and expand economic opportunities for our generation. As one of the leading organizations focusing on young adults and heath care, we thank you for this opportunity to comment on minimum essential coverage.
If approved, the proposed rule, which counts self-funded student plans as minimum essential coverage with no requirements attached, will expose many students to gaps in health care coverage, the very gaps in coverage that the Affordable Care Act intended to solve. This proposal would compromise the health of young Americans. In states that have refused to move forward with Medicaid expansion, this leaves the most vulnerable young people without access to quality coverage. We urge you to take approaches other than the automatic exemption of all self-funded student plans from the terms of the ACA. Specifically, we ask that HHS:
- Reject the current proposal to allow self-funded student health care plans to qualify as minimum essential coverage under the ACA, and utilize an alternative form of exemption, which allows for the approval of plans that substantially comply with ACA protections.
- Require self-funded student health care plans to show that they mirror individual coverage in order to be approved as minimum essential coverage;
- Work with the Department of Treasury to ensure that students attending schools offering self-funded student health insurance are not barred from rejecting those plans and instead getting tax credits on the exchange.
Taking these steps will help ensure that students covered by their school’s self-funded plan receive protections comparable to those offered under other plans, and that students have access to other options that may have been quality and better value.
Inside Higher Ed on January 31, 2013
By Doug Lederman
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday proposed that student health plans self-funded by colleges (rather than operated by insurance companies) qualify as “minimum essential coverage” under the federal health care law’s requirement that individual Americans must participate in a qualified health plan. The proposed regulation essentially exempts such plans from the requirements that the Affordable Care Act imposes on other student health plans.
The proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services, which was unexpected, affects only about 30 institutions — mostly major private and public research universities — that self-fund their student health insurance plans. But consumer advocates have expressed concerns that more institutions, and their states, might move to self-fund their plans.
“Because the federal government only extended the ACA’s protections to fully insured student health insurance plans, we are concerned that institutions of higher education may begin to self-fund in an effort to avoid new requirements,” a set of health care advocacy groups wrote in a report last summer. ”Without federal protections and only minimal state oversight, self-funded plans are free to discriminate based on preexisting conditions, offer limited coverage with low annual limits on benefits, and commit a number of consumer abuses that the ACA was designed to eliminate.”
The institutions that self-fund their student health plans, which include many of the Ivy League institutions and the University of California system, among others, do so because they are less costly to operate (by cutting out the middleman, the insurance company) and can be better tailored to their (and their students’) specific needs, their officials say. They maintain that the health plans they offer are typically of high quality, and that generally meet the health overhaul’s requirements.
In proposing that self-funded plans qualify as meeting the “minimum essential coverage” standard, the Department of Health and Human Services did not suggest that it had examined the existing programs to ensure that they comply with the ACA’s minimum requirements for other plans. The agency provided relatively little in the way of explanation for its action, saying only that “even though student health plans are not individual or group market coverage, they are subject to certain consumer protections,” presumably by state governments.
HHS officials had previously suggested that they did not believe they had the authority to regulate self-funded plans.
In their recommendations to legislators and policy makers last August, consumer groups said they anticipated that more and more colleges might self-fund their plans to avoid federal regulation. New York State, for example, has begun a pilot project to let four universities there experiment with self-funded plans.
And a group of students at the University of California are petitioning to urge the institution to drop caps that its self-funded plan imposes on health care coverage for individuals and things like prescription coverage, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, something that would not be permissible under fully insured plans.
“We’re worried about the impact of this [rule from the Obama administration] on the students in these plans now, and we wouldn’t want other institutions to move in that direction,” said Jen Mishory, deputy director of Young Invincibles, which advocates on behalf of young adults.
Steven M. Bloom, director of federal relations at the American Council on Education, said he did not envision a “stampede” toward self-funded plans, given the complexity of such programs and the fact that the health care market is in such flux over all, with more and more students coming to campuses under their families’ health plans and with other coverage.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Room 445-G, Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Re: Comments on Proposed Rule on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review [RIN 0938-AR40]
Dear Sir or Madam:
Young Invincibles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to amplify the voices of young Americans and expand economic opportunity for our generation. As one of the leading organizations focusing on young adults and health care, we thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Health Insurance Market Rules. The important changes to the health insurance market will provide considerable protections to young people across the country. We urge you to take a few additional steps to ensure that this generation can take full advantage of the benefits offered by the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, we ask that HHS:
1. Adopt a broad definition of who will be included under family coverage;
2. Consider defining adult at a later age when starting age rating, if young adult enrollment proves to be at risk;
3. Include student health insurance in the broader risk pool, ensuring that the more uninsured, low-income young people and students who are not enrolled in colleges that provide insurance do not get unfairly harmed;
4. Take broader definitions of the primary care visits to be provided by catastrophic plans, and ensure that those visits 1) are available with no copay and 2) do not count against the preventive care coverage also provided.
By Adaku Onyeka
Starting Aug. 1, guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Affordable Care Act go into effect, making several women’s health services more affordable for millions. In general, the guidelines require insurance companies to cover the full cost of many preventive health services. No co-pays. No deductibles. No out-of-pocket expenses. At all.
It’s a big deal, but before you storm your local clinic or pharmacy, here are the top five things to know about the preventive health care changes:
- What’s Covered: All FDA-approved contraceptive methods and drugs, but you already knew that. What hasn’t been getting as much media attention is that the new guidelines will also cover the cost of many women’s health services, such as regular well-women visits (which include annual breast and pelvic exams), HPV screenings for women over 30 every three years, STI counseling, HIV testing, screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women, and breastfeeding support and supplies.
- Students Get First Dibs. The guidelines apply only to new policies started on or after Aug. 1. That means unless you signed a policy on or after that date, you will still be tied to your current policy until its end date. Luckily for most students that end date is right around the corner. Most university health plans coincide with the academic year, which means new plans are set to begin in mid-August to September. Be sure to check with your school to make sure you don’t miss open enrollment for your health plan.
- Fret Not, Working Gals. You’re likely next in line to reap the benefits of the new guidelines by early 2013. Most companies hold open enrollment in October or November right before their fiscal year closes, with new plans starting in the New Year. Check with your HR department and look out for information about open enrollment.
- Not All Coverage is Created Equal. Some plans will still require co-pays, deductibles, etc., if they are Grandfathered Health Plans. These plans existed on March 23, 2010, and are limited in how much they can change before they lose grandfather status. Best to check with your insurance provider or HR department to learn if your coverage falls into this category. Also, some religiously-affiliated non-profit schools and employers can delay providing birth control coverage for up to a year, after which enrollees can go straight to the insurers rather than their employers. A more permanent carve out exists for churches and houses of worship.
- No Free Lunch. The guidelines do not apply to women who have no insurance at all; you must already have some kind of health insurance – whether it’s a private policy through a school or employer, or purchased in the open market. If you’re uninsured and want to learn about your options, visit gettingcovered.org.
For more information check out this fact sheet.