Washington Healthplanfinder, our state's Obamacare insurance exchange, has announced that it has facilitated the enrollment of 454,009 Washingtonians since the website went live on October 1. Of that total, 73,098 have completed enrollment in private insurance plans, 134,700 are newly eligible adults who have enrolled in Medicaid, and 63,070 were previously eligible for Medicaid, but not already enrolled. Another 183,141 were previously covered Medicaid recipients who have renewed their coverage through the exchange; Medicaid recipients are required to re-qualify every year. The exchange also reports that there are another 76,058 Washingtonians who have completed applications for private health insurance, but have yet to make their first payment.
That's not bad for a program that Republicans like to dismiss as a total fucking disaster.
Washington Healthplanfinder also announced today that 77,000 18-to-34-year-olds had signed up for health insurance through December 31—14,572 of these in private health plans. That's about 20 percent of total enrollments. Which is a good start, but not nearly good enough: It is estimated that about half of the uninsured in Washington state are young adults.
One of the keys to making Obamacare work is signing up these "young invincibles" for coverage. Expanding coverage is not just about doing the right thing, it's about spreading the risk. We need people to pay into the insurance system when they are young—and least likely to get sick—in order to keep down premiums on everybody.
To that end Washington Healthplanfinder will be teaming up with Live Nation, the producer of Sasquatch and other music festivals and tours, in an outreach effort aimed at young adults. The outreach program will include an interactive presence at Live Nation concerts throughout the state, plus a sponsorship of Sasquatch.
“Live Nation is excited to work with Washington Healthplanfinder to provide a platform to educate our music fans about the new way to find quality, affordable health coverage,” Live Nation Northwest Music president Jeff Trisler said via a press release. “Our audience matches so well with those Washington Healthplanfinder is trying to reach and this program provides a wealth of information for uninsured and underinsured music fans.”
The partnership kicks off with a Facebook sweepstakes offering free Sasquatch tickets.