Tag Archives: peer

Quality Health for Young Adults

Quality Health for Young Adults

Brought to you by: Young Invincibles

Connect Learners, Trim the Fat

Details

Young adults are disconnected from the information they need to be smart, informed consumers of health care. Too many lack basic knowledge like what doctor to go to, where to get birth control, or how to avoid paying huge bills for a hospital visit. For many, this lack of information means they avoid care and skip health insurance. When they do get care, they often pay far more than they should.

The knowledge is out there but it’s disaggregated and people don’t have a means to share their experiences with their peers. Meanwhile, the healthcare technology market is booming and holds huge promise, but most of the solutions are put forth by entrenched interests, like insurance companies, who have little incentive for allow for shared customer feedback. Young adults need more information about their doctors, insurance, hospitals, and a means for peer-to-peer sharing on health care experiences to be more informed and healthier consumers. They need that information in a way that is most accessible to this generation.

We are looking for a mobile app that is easily disseminates health care information to young adults and encourages more sharing of health care reviews. Young adults are far more likely than older adults to a) use smart phones, b) find answers to health care questions online, and c) trust and value information coming from their peers. A mobile app is also important because many young adults, particularly Latinos and African Americans, only have access to the internet through their phone. For example, 53% of Latinos ages 18 to 29 are uninsured. Let 43% of young Latinos do not have access to high speed internet at home, and 38% primarily go online through their phone. A game model would also be beneficial as it could entice young users to learn more about health care and share reviews.

User Story

A Benefit to People Like Sara

Sara is 22 years old and a student at San Diego State University.  Sara has had Type I Diabetes for 12 years; every day is a challenge to keep her blood sugar in control. In November of 2008, Sara found out due to working a part-time job that she would be removed from the government run health care plan that she was on.  Just 20 years old, she did not realize how difficult finding health care would be. Without insurance, in any given month Sara would have to pay $500 for her insulin, $156 for her insulin pump supplies and $200 for 200 test strips.

When Sara found out about the cancellation of her health insurance she tried to purchase insurance from her college campus, San Diego State University. However, after speaking with the school social worker, she found out that the plan would not work for her. It would only cover a maximum of $500 a year for over-the-counter prescriptions, nowhere near enough to meet her needs. 

Looking to the private market has also not been an option. Although she works part-time while in school to help pay the rent, she does not earn nearly enough to pay the premium of a private market plan. As a result, Sara has stayed uninsured, scraping together various ways to maintain her health.

Resources & Assets

We provide health care education for young adults around the country. This past spring, we released a “Graduation Toolkit” that explains how to get health insurance when you are out of school. Young Invincibles partnered with over 60 national and state organizations, and the Toolkit reached over 300,000 young adults. Over 10 colleges and universities posted the Toolkit on their website and distributed the information to graduates. We will be releasing a “Back To School Toolkit” this Fall specifically for students. Young Invincibles is also a nationally recognized expert on young adults and health care and frequently talks in media ranging from the NY Times to CNN to give young adults and families more information on health care and how the new health care law impacts them.

What’s Still Needed

Social media, mobile social media, online games and sms outreach