Q&A: Amy Lin of Young Invincibles on Helping Young People Find Health Insurance
Lots of youth and young adults need health insurance. And they can get it in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
That’s why last month, health advocacy group Young Invincibles hosted National Youth Enrollment Day, teaming up with dozens of partners—from youth-serving agencies to health clinics—to educate youth about signing up for health insurance via the marketplace. With the window to enroll set to close on March 30, organizations across the country continue to work to inform youth about their options and help them navigate the process.
Amy Lin, National Organizing Director of Young Invincibles, spoke with us about young people and health insurance.
NCFY: What are some of the common hurdles you find young people face when it comes to access to healthcare?
Lin: One in four young adults doesn't have health insurance. We are working all over the country to change these numbers, and it starts with outreach and education to build awareness about what's in the Affordable Care Act and how it helps young adults. Sixty-six percent of uninsured young adults ages 18 to 34 could get coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace for less than $100 a month, but too many of those eligible do not know they qualify for financial assistance. By planning dozens of outreach and education events around the country [for National Youth Enrollment Day] and engaging many different groups and individuals on social media, we were able to get the word out and kick off the final weeks of open enrollment with a bang.
NCFY: What are some issues you see specific to runaway and homeless youth and teen parents and how can they overcome those issues?
Lin: We work closely with partners who serve vulnerable populations to be sure that we are highlighting the information that is most important and relevant to their needs. Some of the issues we know this population faces include not having easy access to their documents, lack of awareness of their eligibility for Medicaid and other services, and not having access to the Internet to sign up.
NCFY: What can youth and family workers do to help youth clear those hurdles?
Lin: We work with community organizations and groups who serve young adults to make sure these groups are well aware of the benefits and financial assistance available to young people. These groups are the trusted sources for this information, so we make sure we're sharing it.