Third-year FIU Law student Allan Zullinger, recently helped U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau kick-off a press conference launching the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment drive. The event, designated as National Youth Enrollment Day, targeted “young invincibles”and promoted insurance options available through the Healthcare Marketplace.
In addition to educating and assisting with ACA enrollment, Zullinger himself successfully applied for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and shared his story during the press conference.
Zullinger is currently enrolled in his second semester with the Health Law and Policy (NeighborhoodHLP) Clinic where he has been leading the efforts on the clinic’s policy work related to ACA implementation issues. Connected to this effort, the HLP Clinic has been assisting and overseeing enrollment in the newly launched healthcare.gov Health Insurance Marketplace. The clinic has been advising clients on enrollment issues, and has opened up enrollment opportunities to the FIU student body by hosting weekend ACA drives at the law school.
Although Zullinger now has health coverage, that is not the case for many of his peers. About 25 percent of young adults between 18 and 34 have health insurance, according to Tondreau.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 3.3 million people have enrolled nationwide.
Out of roughly 300,000 Floridians that have signed up, only 23 percent of them are between the ages of 18 and 34.
The more young people that enroll, the easier it becomes for insurers to offset the costs for older, sicker people; the less that younger people enroll, the more likely it becomes that insurers will raise their rates.
Although Zullinger recognized the program’s website and sign-up process requires some patience, he acknowledged that there is a great sense of comfort in knowing that he is covered by medical insurance