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Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 6:51pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A new health insurance campaign in New Mexico is targeting a group known as the 'Young Invincibles' in hopes of making young adults aware of their options under the Affordable Care Act.
Adults ages 18 through 34 who do not have health insurance or are not covered under their parents' plan have been given the 'Young Invincibles' name.
"They're less likely to sign up just because they think they're not going to get sick," said Dana Bloomquist who worked on the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange campaigns.
Campaign officials met with students at Dona Ana Community College East Mesa to explain the importance of looking into plans under the Affordable Care Act.
According to NMHiX, of those already enrolled only one out of four are young adults.
Bloomquist said most adults in the age group only visit the doctor because of injury rather than illness.
"i never thought iId break any of my bones but I fractured my ankle not too long ago and I realized injuries do happen," said Mariah Armendariz-Primero.
The 19-year-old said if she didn't have insurance to help pay for some of the expenses then she might have had to quit school.
But even with the possibility of injury due to a car crash or a sports injury officials said the age group does view health insurance as a priority even if it is required by law.
"They're just saying no, I'm just going to pay the penalty," said Health Extension Rural Officer Marnie Nixon.
The penalty under the Affordable Care Act is $95 dollars or one percent of the person's income.
"iI you made $20,000 it could be $200 a year for which you're paying a penalty and receiving no possible services," Nixon said.
That's one of the reason why the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange has come up with a way to reach young adults with images of young people clearly hurt but still with the "invincible" mentality.
"I's kind of a funny campaign if you've looked at any of the posters and any of the materials that are being presented now," Bloomquist said.
Some of the materials include posters explaining the cost of a broken arm without insurance would be 3,000 beers or the average cost of medical treatment after a car crash is 25,000 tacos.
"It's kind of scary," Armendariz-Primero said. "I wouldn't want to put that on family."
Open enrollment ends March 31st and all New Mexicans can look at plans and enroll at BeWellNM.com