Just because The Affordable Care Act has allowed millions of Millennials to acquire health insurance doesn’t mean they actually know how to use it. With a complex system of referrals, continuous search for the right doctors, and convoluted specifics, it can be difficult for anyone to get the most out of their coverage. Enter the HealthYI app, a tool that helps clarify the particulars of health plans and aids in explaining just what they have to offer. Currently serving young adults in the Westchester and New York City area, this pioneering app is helping a new generation take control of their health.
Produced by the Washington, DC-based policy and advocacy organization Young Invincibles in conjunction with The Westchester Community Foundation and The Heckscher Foundation, HealthYI offers a wide range of services tailored specifically to Millennials. The app, which is free from the iTunes store and Google Play store, provides a glossary of health care terms, tips for saving money, a health checklist, and information elucidating the more complex aspects of the health care system, including material on understanding a medical bill. The app, whose initial rollout is exclusive to Westchester and the surrounding area, also has an option for users to submit personal questions regarding their coverage and receive an answer within two days.
There is undoubtedly a major need for such an app. Approximately 5.7 million young adults have gained health coverage since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. Of that number, over 200,000 young adults in New York have received coverage—a huge pool of Millennials that may be unaware of the benefits of a service for which they are already paying.
“Providing coverage alone is not enough to empower young adults to take an active role in bettering their health,” says Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles. “HealthYI demystifies the health care process by putting health in your hands. Now you can just as easily learn what a premium is or find a doctor in your network as you can post a photo on Instagram.”
Committed to amplifying the voices of Millennials through policy and advocacy, Young Invincibles uses a combination of research, education, and analysis to ensure young people’s interests are represented in major social debates. The Young Invincibles partners with organizations that share these values, which made The Westchester Community Foundation and the New York City-based Heckscher Foundation natural allies.
The Westchester Community Foundation, which is guided by a Board of Advisers composed of community leaders, works to offer philanthropic aid to numerous worthy causes throughout the Westchester area. Along with The Heckscher Foundation, The Westchester Community Foundation provided invaluable support in making the app a reality.
“The Foundation is vested in helping young people get access to health care,” says Laura Rossi, executive director of the Westchester Community Foundation. “This app is an exciting new approach, and will guarantee that more young adults will become insured and take steps to improve their health.”