Washington Health Foundation president James Whitfield said, “The idea there is they won’t be using as much health insurance, as much health care services (as others), but they will be paying into the health insurance market.”
Richard Kresser fits the mold. He is a 27-years-old and active outdoors.
“I really just enjoy staying physically active whether it’s rock climbing, mountain climbing, trail running, kayaking,” Kresser said.
Shopping for health insurance is also on his to-do list.
“I’m definitely going to have to get some sort of health care. No matter how expensive it is. You’ve got to have it.”
Buying insurance is no longer optional — if you don’t get insurance, you will be fined. And the government is trying to get that message across in a comical way.
Michael Marchand with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange hopes the campaign grabs the attention of young people who typically don’t bother with insurance, either because they can’t afford or they don’t feel like they need it. The industry calls them “indestructibles.”
“It’s super hard. We live in a 140-character world now and differentiating for that audience is going to take a multitude of messages through a multitude of messengers in order to get to them and help them get to a decision,” he said.
Marchand said a million Washingtonians don’t have health insurance. That’s a big risk for people to take, and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange is there to help those people find coverage they can afford.
“So what we want to do is get people to understand there is value– and now, opportunity — to help offset the cost,” Marchand said. “Find something that better fits their needs and they should be going to Washington Health Plan Finder to find this.”
As of Jan. 1, 2014, you have to get covered. If you are uninsured, you will be fined and you still won’t have insurance. The fine for being uninsured is $95 or 1 percent of your annual income, whichever is higher. For example, someone making $40,000 who didn’t buy health care, the fine would be $400.
Health care enrollment begins on Oct. 1.