Since 2010, more than 6 million previously uninsured young adults have gained access to health coverage. For the past several Open Enrollment periods, YI Advisors projects have centered on lowering the barriers to entry for young adults enrolling in health insurance. Critical to this effort has been our partnership with Cognosante’s Enrollment Assistance Program. Working with a certified in-person assister makes has been shown to double the likelihood of enrollment.
Millennial consumers have come to expect a high level of service and seamless user experience from online services like Amazon. Citizen expectations of government services have increased along a similar trajectory, while the realities of state procurement processes have struggled to keep pace. YI Advisors has played a crucial role in narrowing this gap between consumer demand and access to government services. Our EnrollHealthPlan site allows consumers to book an enrollment appointment in seconds. The Cognosante Connector mobile app offers the same experience on mobile while also allowing users to leverage their device GPS to search for enrollment appointments nearby.
While engaging young adults to enroll for the first time remains a priority, our focus this year has shifted to what we call “Coverage to Care.” YI Advisors marked this transition with our Coverage to Care Summit where we emphasized ensuring that young adults who have enrolled are actually using the health care they have signed up to receive. It is important not only from a public health perspective, but also for retaining health insurance enrollments. YI Advisors’ Healthy Young America and HealthYI mobile applications are designed to inform newly insured young adults of their healthcare options in a familiar mobile format. Features include checklists for a young person’s next steps immediately following enrollment and the ability to book a primary care appointment in your network, right from the app.
The final aspect of this retention challenge is informational. Making health insurance literacy a priority for Millennials means competing with a wide array of modern distractions. To capture some of this divided attention, we have partnered with iTriage on a fun and informative health literacy campaign, #healthgetsreal. Through engaging videos, infographics, stories from Millennials, and concise and clear informational resources #healthgetsreal aims to encourage Millennials to understand and effectively use their healthcare options. Our focus group data and other research indicates that even when young people want to learn more about their healthcare options they are unsure where to turn for straightforward and trusted sources of information on the subject. The Young Invincibles #healthyadulting toolkit seeks to close that gap by providing an authoritative guide on how young adults can leverage their health coverage and fully understand its benefits. The guide also spells out the risks and penalties associated with forgoing health insurance to empower Millennial consumers to make a fully informed decision about their care.
Maintaining the tremendous progress in advancing healthcare access for young adults continues to be a defining challenge for YI Advisors. Meeting ever-increasing consumer expectations for health insurance enrollment services is a critical first step. Technology will continue to lower barriers to accessing care. However, only healthcare literacy and education will empower Millennials to take ownership and internalize the importance of a lifetime of health coverage.