An organization helping New Hampshire consumers understand the Affordable Care Act is ramping up efforts to get young men covered with a new television ad and a public service announcement featuring NBA player Matt Bonner.
The second enrollment period under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law ends Feb. 15. During the first enrollment period, women over age 45 signed up in greater numbers than younger men, so the Covering New Hampshire organization is focusing more on the latter group this time.
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The group is rolling out a new television ad next week on the Adult Swim network, known for racy, late-night content.
"I don't think anyone in this audience should see the ad if our targeting is right," Covering New Hampshire director Karen Hicks told members of the state's Health Exchange Advisory Board on Friday.
That will be followed by additional digital advertising. One 30-second spot features Bonner, a Concord native who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, saying, "Get out there, live your life and get covered."
More than 40,000 New Hampshire residents signed up during the first enrollment period. In the first month of the current enrollment period, 23,210 people selected plans, according to the latest available figures from the federal government. Of those, 59 percent were re-enrolling in plans and 41 percent were first-time sign-ups. Five companies are now offering health plans in New Hampshire, compared to just one during the first enrollment period.
Covering New Hampshire, which also coordinates the state's marketplace assister program, recently was awarded a second federal grant to continue its operations through the end of the year. Once the current enrollment season ends, the organization will shift its focus to transferring the work it has been doing to other organizations, said Aaron Holman of Public Consulting Group. That process will include working more closely with insurance brokers, federally funded navigators, state agencies and nonprofit organizations, he said.
Board member Lisa Morris suggested that the group also consider expanding its focus to include health literacy, or teaching newly insured people how to make the most of their new coverage.
"There are a lot of people on insurance who have never utilized the health care system in the way that a healthy person might do," she said. "Access to health care includes health insurance but also teaching people how to utilize the system and how to stay healthy."