The Affordable Care Act was designed to make sure that no American went without health insurance but according to the National Public Radio Organization (NPR) two years later ten million people are still without health insurance. There have been varying reasons why some are uninsured.
As open enrollment approaches the Department of Health and Human Services is focused on mobile technology reigning in these uninsured individuals and is rolling out several different strategies including Facebook, email, and some new apps. This is especially geared towards the younger generation, which accounts for the largest amount of the uninsured group. The younger generation tends to take a more technology-based approach to healthcare, relying on their mobile phone and sites such as Google for quick help with health questions.
Affordability, confusing plans and even “dropped by the insurance carrier” were just a few reasons that individuals revealed to NPR for being uninsured. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be releasing a new app that lets users input their medical needs to help them locate appropriate health plans. It will give users the chance to estimate how much they might spend out of pocket in addition to their monthly premiums. Private groups will also be helping with enrollment this year, which will provide additional help for consumers. The nonprofit group Enroll America has staff in 14 states and will be assisting. The group also has its own Web app to assist users with the comparison of health care plans.
Next year the tax penalties for being uninsured will substantially increase which could greatly affect some American households. With the popularity of smartphones and other mobile technology, especially with the younger generation, many people use it instead of a traditional computer for most of their Internet needs. The easy access mobile sites and apps are designed to be easily accessible from mobile devices and entice the younger generation to use them to sign up for health insurance or find answers to their questions. The apps and new website tools may help to bridge the healthcare insurance gap, especially within the younger more technology oriented population, and those in rural areas where healthcare services and information is not as easy to find.