The overwhelming majority of uninsured Americans do not have a college degree, which means that the majority of outreach to young Americans should not be done on four-year or community college campuses. Instead, outreach should focus on the harder to reach “non-college young American.”
Reaching young people who are not students can be challenging for a couple of reasons:
- Young Americans especially those likely to be uninsured, are less likely to be reached by traditional grassroots outreach (i.e phone banking and canvassing). These efforts will need to be supplemented with additional outreach strategies, like tabling or conducting outreach on social media platforms.
- Fewer organizations serve young Americans who are not students. Youth-specific organizations tend to focus on younger children or college students. Young, single Americans who are not in school tend not to be affiliated with these organizations and therefore tend to be one of the least-served populations.
Because of these factors, reaching young people who are not in school requires identifying and going to places where they are likely to congregate and/or finding organizations that may not be youth-specific, but serve young people because of the nature of the work that they do. Some ways to do so are outlined below.
Tabling at events or in locations where young people are likely to be is a great way to supplement other activities. Some places where tabling might be effective are:
- Movie theaters
- Coffee Shops
- Food Co-ops
- Pre-existing events
For more information on how to run a successful tabling event, see the “How to Table” section.
After identifying a location where young Americans congregate see if there are bulletin boards that can display public information.
The online community is a popular location where young Americans find information. Identify the best online community to post information. A few options are:
- Mom blogs are a great way to reach young parents.
For more information on how to maximize your social media presence, see the “Social Media” section.
Partner outreach will be a big part of reaching young consumers. Because a small amount of organizations serve this population, try to think about organizations that may not be specifically youth-focused, but serve young people who are likely to be uninsured because of the nature of the services they provide. Some examples of potential partners are below.
- Organizations that serve the unemployed: Since young people are unemployed at a higher rate than older Americans, organizations that serve the unemployed are a good way to reach young people who may not have health insurance.
- Organizations that serve the formerly incarcerated: Young people are incarcerated at higher rates than the rest of the population. The formerly incarcerated are also less healthy than the general population and less likely to have insurance. Groups that try to help people reintegrate into society would be particularly good partners.
- Organizations that serve young parents/kids: We know that many uninsured young Americans are parents. There are health clinics around the country that run programs aimed at young, low-income mothers. There are also many organizations that work with low-income children who likely come in contact with their parents.
Radio Programs/DJs: Teaming up with DJs who can make announcements on radio programs or at events is a great way to reach a lot of young people at once. DJs or radio programs can also help promote events, in addition to educating consumers.
Small Businesses: 26 percent of employed young people between the ages of 18 and 24 work in the leisure and hospitality sector (which includes food services) and another 19 percent of employed youth worked in the retail trade industry.1 These workers are unlikely to have insurance through their employer if the business employs fewer than 50 people, so outreach at small businesses should be targeted both at employees and patrons.
Some potential ways to partner with these organizations are:
Ask for permission to train their staff and volunteers on how to talk about the new health coverage options.
Get them to use Enroll America’s follow-up cards when they are interacting with people without insurance.
Work with them to set up information sessions for the uninsured people they serve.
Have them promote events you have planned to the people they come in contact with.
Table at their events.
For more information on how to engage partners, see the “Partner Engagement” section.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Unemployment Among Youth—Summer 2013 (Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, 2013) 1, accessed August 27, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/youth.nr0.htm.↩