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Young Adults Want Their Own Health Insurance Plan

Armen Hareyan's picture

Young adults are realizing they are not invincible and are concerned that a major health event could also turn into a major financial event for them. Yet, they remain one of the highest uninsured groups in Minnesota -- nearly double the overall uninsured rate. As young adults become independent they lose access to their parent's policy and many may be working in jobs that don't offer insurance which can create a gap in coverage. Some insurance products are not the right fit for the needs and budgets of young adults. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) recognized and responded to this need earlier this year, and created a product designed specifically for young adults, called Simply Blue.

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Since Simply Blue was first offered in early 2007, there has been strong response from young adults. "We're 50 percent ahead of plan -- we are getting a phenomenal response. This is an example of a product built by consumer input, and one that truly meets a need," according to Shawn Patterson, vice president of marketing. "We learned many things during our research and discussions with young adults, including the fact that they wanted not only insurance for major health issues, but they also wanted first dollar coverage for annual checkups -- so they can take care of themselves and prevent bigger health problems." Patterson shared that "we've been pleasantly surprised by the response of young adults to Simply Blue; they not only need, but want it. And, our sales are proof that we are meeting a need."

Blue Cross' market research showed that young adults wanted coverage that delivered better value. "Blue Cross gave them everything they wanted and nothing they didn't. We listened and delivered -- Simply Blue covers office visits and offers free generic prescriptions." Patterson also added, "Blue Cross' Simply Blue provides these benefits and allows online application (with the option of electronic automatic payment)."

Not only are the young adults pleased with the product, so are their parents. "We have actually had some parents call us back after their son or daughter signs up for the product and they say 'thank you' -- I'm so relieved my child has health insurance," says Brian Davis, manager, individual sales.