Tag Archives: youth

Quality Health for Young Adults

Quality Health for Young Adults

Brought to you by: Young Invincibles

Connect Learners, Trim the Fat


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

Connecting NYC youth to support and opportunities



Connecting NYC Youth to Supports and Opportunities:
New York City has a wealth of resources and opportunities that are underutilized. Youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods often share that they never travel beyond a few blocks from where they live, resulting in them missing out on the numerous supports and opportunities available in their boroughs and across the city.


There are many sources of information about these resources; however, there is no one easy way for youth to access this information. DYCD operates the Youth Connect hotline, which receives over 50,000 calls each year from youth interested in accessing services. In addition, DYCD has thousands of followers on social media. DYCD and youth-serving agencies also have partnerships that could benefit youth, such as colleges and businesses that offer youth discounts. A technology solution is needed to combine these information sources in one system that youth and families can access across NYC.

Specifically, features might include:
(1) Youth Profiles: Youth save a personal profile to allow them to sign up for opportunities, get targeted texts, emails, discounts (based on neighborhood, interests, age, etc.)
(2) Youth Connect: Integrate the Youth Connect database
(3) Business Discounts
(4) Link to Neighborhood Map
(5) Link to Calendar Function
(6)Government Agencies, Nonprofits, Businesses can update it themselves
(7) Youth Can Report a Problem


The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) was created in 1996 to provide the City of New York with high-quality youth and family programming. DYCD supports New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs. As the designated Community Action Agency for New York City, DYCD also supports a wide variety of programs that address the conditions of poverty.

DYCD is committed to building and expanding on partnerships that generate innovative and practical programs for youth, their families and communities. Over the past year, for the fourth time, DYCD was selected by the America’s Promise Alliance and ING as one of the country’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The award is an acknowledgement of the tremendous work of this agency and its partners to cultivate research-based, quality programs to engage young people and put them on a path to success.

Target Audience

NYC Youth – DYCD serves a diverse population of youth, from elementary school programs through early adulthood, up to 24 years old. In many programs, DYCD targets neighborhoods with high poverty rates and significant numbers of youth who did not complete high school or are unemployed. The primary audience for the technology tool is youth, age 10 through 24. According to the 2000 Census, the total number of youth in this age group in NYC was 1,641,288.

Appropriate Platforms

  • SMS
  • Mobile App
  • Social App


Ways to measure success might include: A large percent of youth in community programs with profiles in the system; an increase in the number of youth accessing multiple services and opportunities; regular updates from nonprofits to the technology tool calendar or list of resources; and more frequent communication with youth using the tool.

Resources & Assets

DYCD’s network is vast—with hundreds of service providers that partner with the agency and over 200,000 youth served each year, there is the potential for mass distribution and use of the technology tool. DYCD already has strong communications systems in place to promote use of the tool through multiple channels, with thousands of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube fans/followers. DYCD also hosts many large events throughout the year. Finally, DYCD has IT staff who would be able to support use of the tool after it has been developed and implemented.