Young Adults Targeted to Sign Up for Health Insurance - 8 News NOW

Young Adults Targeted to Sign Up for Health Insurance

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LAS VEGAS -- In the last week, more than 1,500 people have paid for their healthcare plans in full through Nevada's insurance exchange.

Nevada Health Link, the insurance exchange for Nevada, has had 80,000 first time visitors in the past week and more than 5.4 million visits since it opened.

Despite the website's slow start, more people are signing up. As of last week, the total was at 1,800.

For the Affordable Care Act to work, young people must sign up and pay into the system. Some young Las Vegas adults say getting health insurance isn't even on their radar, at this time.

It's finals week at the College of Southern Nevada and while students have been cramming for their exams, some aren't aware of the approaching deadline to sign up for insurance.

"I have seen a few advertisements on campus, considering the fact that I'm only here once a week," student Taras Shevchenko said.

Nevada Health Link is running a year-long, $7.3 million marketing campaign. Many of the ads target the young and typically healthy adults at sports events and online.

"I heard it on the radio. I just went to check it out and to see because I know I don't have insurance and I know by 2014 you have to have insurance," uninsured Berlynn Schaffer said.

Schaffer, 18, is taking the steps to sign up through the exchange website. If she signs up within the next two weeks, she will be insured by Jan. 1, 2014. If she's not signed up by March 31, she could face a fine.

"I've been to the site twice and they just ask you some questions about how much you make for salary and whatnot and they try to help you find the right insurance," she said.

Nearly 1 million people have logged onto the exchange website this week. The spokesperson for Nevada Health Link says that's because the deadline is nearing and some people thought they had to wait until problems with the national website were resolved.

"The national media has put out a lot of information about the federal site being up and fixed and some people, here in the state, may be confused that we were linked with the federal site as well and they were just waiting until the federal site was fixed," said C.J. Bawden, Nevada Health Link.

The Nevada health exchange is its own separate website and is the only way Nevadans can sign up for the Affordable Care Act. The goal is have more than 100,000 people signed up by the end of March.

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