In California, About 31% Of People Ages 18 To 34 Are Uninsured, Compared With 27% Nationally.
1, millions of Californians can start signing up for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act . In addition to new coverage options, the healthcare law changes the rules of the insurance game for many consumers. It also requires most Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. Please share your comments or ask questions at email@example.com . Submissions must include names and phone numbers. Also Healthcare law comes to California Do I need to do anything right now?
Obama looks to Hollywood to help promote his healthcare law
Nationwide, the Obama administration estimates it needs about 40% of the 7 million people expected to enroll the first year to be young and healthy to help mitigate the costs of the chronically ill. In California, about 31% of people ages 18 to 34 are uninsured, compared with 27% nationally. The figures are even higher in Los Angeles, where nearly 40% of young adults lack coverage. "If healthy people don't enroll, insurers will start to increase premiums," said Christine Eibner, a healthcare economist at Rand Corp., a Santa Monica think tank. "It could create a death spiral where only sick people want to sign up." To get young people into the fold, the Obama administration is running an online video contest soliciting entries about young people and their medical needs. In California, officials are spending millions of dollars on advertising and outreach aimed at showing them the value of coverage. One pitch: You could go broke without it. One video spot focuses on Ajay, a 20-year-old uninsured student from Sacramento, who talks about how expensive out-of-pocket treatment can be for her asthma attacks. "As young people we often feel nothing can stop us," she says, sitting in a coffee shop.
New health insurance exchanges want young, healthy people
At this stage, it is difficult to measure the efficacy of the campaign to influence Americans' perceptions of the law, in part because there is little transparency about how much third-party groups are spending on both sides. Three years after the law's passage, confusion surrounding it is striking. Americans, even uninsured ones, remain divided over whether the law will help their families, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll. In an August survey, 1 in 8 uninsured Americans said they had been contacted about the law by phone, email, text or a door-to-door visit. That is where Obama's collaboration with Hollywood ? long a home to Democratic campaign donors ? may end up being most helpful. The website for Funny or Die claims 19 million unique users and more than 60 million video views per month, and their demographic strength overlaps perfectly with the young people who must sign up for the healthcare law in order for it to succeed. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that young people will make up 40% of the 7 million who sign up. The website's video featuring Paris Hilton 's response to Sen. John McCain 's 2008 campaign ad framing Obama as "the biggest celebrity in the world" snagged 11 million views.