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Continued: Minnesota's young 'invincibles' are key to health insurance overhaul

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 19, 2013 - 4:59 PM

Advocates of the state marketplaces are heartened by the experience in Massachusetts, which also required everyone to buy insurance or pay a fine when it launched reform efforts in 2007. In the first year, the rate of uninsured among 19- to 26-year-olds fell from 21 percent to 8 percent.

For 26-year-old St. Thomas student Alex Hoeppner, getting insurance is a no-brainer. The St. Paul resident is an avid snowboarder, biker and outdoor enthusiast, which has led to some mishaps. He fractured a leg in three places and has broken the same wrist twice. For now, he sets aside money he earns working part time at a pizza shop to buy short-term coverage from Medica. But he said he’s looking forward to seeing what kind of options he’ll have through MNsure.

“Having a primary care doctor isn’t important,” he said. “I don’t visit the doctor regularly. For me, it’s all about the emergency room visits and the broken bones. I’m not willing to go without insurance forever. It’s too much of a risk.”

 

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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