Why California’s college and university students are so important to Obamacare

NeedleThere is no doubt that Obamacare has been a controversial and polarizing policy right from the time it was introduced. This is partly due to the complicated nature of the bill and people picking and choosing parts of it to support their own agendas. Both people for and against this act now understand how important the support of healthy adults aged 20 to 30 is. These so-called “young invincibles” will offset the costs of sick or older patients, because they won’t need expensive medical care.

The state now has funded Obamacare educators to travel to California Colleges and Universities and give presentations in an effort to gain support of this demographic. For many experts, the complete overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system rests heavily on which way these young adults will be persuaded. Here are some of the main reasons why the support from college and university students in California is so important:

  • Collecting Premiums from the Healthy Under-35 Demographic is Key – In order to cover the costs of newly added elderly and sick people, insurance premiums from individuals who rarely use medical services need to be collected. Without this demographics’ support, there will not be funds to support those who are in need.
  • Young Californians have Shown Initial Support for this Act – In the first two months, 22 percent of all those who paid for insurance coverage were from the under-35 target demographic for California.
  • California is a Bellwether State – This means that trends in this state usually predict the trends or actions taken in other states. If the educators can persuade these young adults, it might create a tipping point of support for the rest of the nation.
  • Targeting Well-Educated Young People – One of the main stumbling blocks is getting people to understand the benefits of these complicated policy changes. Intelligent college students are likely to understand why these policy changes will benefit them, and why their demographic support is so vital.
  • Opportunity to Stimulate Interest for New Healthcare Options – These new state-sponsored health insurance educators are starting to generate more student interest through their presentations. They are also a great forum for answering questions and addressing issues that might have otherwise stopped students from enrolling in coverage.
  • The “40% for Success” Figure – It has often been quoted that in order for this White House healthcare reform to be a success, 40 percent of those signing up through federal and state healthcare marketplaces must be under 35 years old.

Despite the optimism, these insurance educators are still struggling to craft an effective message that gets the attention of these young Californian college students. Getting them to focus on and understand a topic that is relatively complicated and one that is not too high on their priority list is challenging. The educators know they need to create more opportunities for open dialogues and question/answer sessions that demystify some of the unknowns of these medical care changes.

A report released recently from Harvard stated that 41 percent of university students surveyed were “50-50” as to whether they would adopt these new health insurance options. It is clear that this undecided group represents a huge opportunity for these state-funded educators. It still remains to be seen if they can present Obamacare and its benefits in a way that makes sense to their target audience. Only time will tell, whether the money spent by California on health insurance educators was well spent, or if the message missed the mark. The success of Obamacare may just hang in the balance.