“Young Invincibles” key to Obamacare plan

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In just five days, the health insurance marketplace opens up and in order for the system to work advocates say young, healthy people need to sign up for health insurance in huge numbers. These are the so called "young invincibles" who have gone without insurance in the past. But the Obama administration is counting on the 2.7 million uninsured young people, 18 to 34 years old, to get signed up.

Joe Hoffman is 28 years old and never had health insurance until a couple of months ago.

"Just didn't have it, being young and dumb, you get hurt you just rub dirt on it," he said laughing.

But his career at HD Energy Solutions doesn't always have him behind a desk. He's often out working in construction zones.

"You start looking around and it's like that could fall on my head, that could happen, that could happen," he said.

Scott Eckley with Healthcare Solutions Team, a health insurance broker, says the Affordable Care Act is counting on young and healthy people like Hoffman to sign up for insurance.

"The 22-year-old who has never had a health condition, they were fortunate and their family members were all healthy, in their mind there's no need to have this and pay for something you don't need," Eckley said. "But ultimately if you have those premium dollars coming in, it keeps costs down and that's what the premise of the law was built on and what needs to happen for it to stay affordable."

The "young invincibles" have become a political hot-button. Some republicans have encouraged young people to boycott the exchange.

"Whether we're for or against the law, because it is the law, we may as well figure out how to comply and make it work," Eckley said.

Hoffman says Obamacare is part of the reason why he finally broke down and got insurance, but he says his wife and kids were really the biggest factor.

"Young and invincible, that's how I was," he said. "And I decided I'm not so invincible. Life is fragile, anything could happen."

Hoffman says he was surprised when he contacted a broker and signed up for insurance how affordable it was. But he is worried that will change once some of the Obamacare laws go into effect January 1.



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