Success of New Health Care Law Depends on 'Young Invincibles' - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Success of New Health Care Law Depends on 'Young Invincibles'

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Javier Hernandez lives at home with his mother and young brother. He's gone without health insurance for most of his life. "When we get sick, we don't necessarily go to the doctor. A lot of times, we just rely on home remedies, or just letting the pain go away."

Now for the first time the 24-year-old working student says he'll be able to afford coverage. He plans to sign up when the mandated insurance exchanges launch October 1st. Javier's low-income qualifies him for government subsidies and tax credits, which means he could pay as little as $30 a month for minimal coverage. "It depends on your age, your income, where you live."

The success of the insurance exchanges depends upon so-called 'young invincibles,' who typically think they don't need coverage because they're young and healthy.

At California's insurance exchange, Santiago Lucero says younger people are needed, to offset caring for older, sicker patients. "That's how we bring the premiums down. And we have promised health insurance companies 'we will make it happen for you.'"

There, a 20-year-old would pay about $146 a month for a middle-of-the-road plan. A 60-year-old would pay $624. But new subsidies would help low-income earners in both groups, dropping premiums as low as $85 a month. Javier is sold on getting insured. "You know, we are young, but we never know when, you know, accidents happen."

The challenge is getting the rest of the nation's 19 million uninsured young adults on board.

For information on Nevada's health insurance exchange, click here.

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