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Insurers Market Exchanges for Young Invincibles

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, September 25, 2013

Of course, Oregon, Minnesota, and California are among just 17 states that opted to establish a state-based exchange. For the 27 states that defaulted to a federally based insurance exchange, encouraging enrollment in exchanges will be harder. But some insurers are picking up where the state government can't or won't.

For example, Philadelphia-based insurer Independence Blue Cross (IBX), which is participating in Pennsylvania's federally run HIX, began an advertising campaign in July called "Live Fearless," aimed at engaging the younger crowd.

"We need to align our brand with consumers in ways that we never have done before," says John McClung, vice president of advertising and creative services for IBX. "We did a study of consumers, and the older the consumer was, the more willing they were to pay for Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage. As you get younger, that margin gets smaller."

McClung says their research showed that once consumers reach their 20s, they view picking health insurance akin to picking airfares, with the cheapest price winning.

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