Health Insurance is not a Laughing Matter…Or is it?
Posted March, 11 2014 by Amanda
Much of the ACA enrollment outreach to young adult “invincibles” has been on the lighter side. Take, for example, the recent Valentine’s Day campaign around national youth enrollment day that featured various celebrities making quips about love and insurance (see the ad featuring Amy Poehler in our February post). And, months back, we highlighted Colorado’s GotInsurance campaign, which markets health insurance to young adults using “bros,” yoga, and roller derby.
President Obama’s latest education effort has taken an especially comedic turn. The President was a guest on Zach Galifianakis’ Funny or Die web series, “Between Two Ferns,” which is known for its parody of low-budget interview shows and hilariously awkwardly interviews. The video has already gone viral and is trending on twitter. Besides being good for a laugh, the interview turns out to be a decent platform for marketing healthcare.gov and the new insurance options under the ACA, particularly to young adults. Earlier this afternoon, White House Senior Communications Advisor Tara McGuinness tweeted that FunnyorDie.com was the #1 source of referrals to healthcare.gov.
Whether because of the targeted outreach efforts or simply the increased affordability of insurance in the state and federal marketplaces, the rates of uninsured young adults are falling along with those of older adults. According to a recent Gallop poll, the uninsured rate for adults aged 26-34 – likely the primary audience for “Between Two Ferns” – dropped 1.6% points between the end of last year and the first two months of this year. The drop in uninsured was smaller – 0.5% – among 18-25 year-olds, but this group experienced a much more dramatic dip in its uninsurance rate a few years ago. The uninsured rate for these young adults dropped by over 4% in early 2011, when they became eligible to stay on a parent’s insurance plan until age 26. Still, the rates of uninsured young adults remain significantly higher than older populations. Targeted outreach is likely to pick up during these last few weeks of open enrollment.
In the meantime, we have President Obama going out on a limb to pitch the merits of health insurance – of which there are many! – with an unexpected partner in Galifianakis. President Obama’s plug starts at about the halfway point, and one of the best interchanges is at 4:15:
Pres. Obama: “The point is, a lot of young people, they think they’re invincible.”
Galifianakis: “Did you say invisible, because…”
Pres. Obama: “No, no – not invisible. Invincible. Meaning that they don’t think they can get hurt.”
Galifianakis: “I’m just saying that nobody could be invisible…if you had said invisible.”