Michigan Youth Leaders Join Get Covered America Ahead of National Youth Enrollment Week

January 22, 2015

Super Bowl Champion Cato June, Former Detroit Lion Todd “TJ” Duckett, and State Senator Knezek to Join Get Covered America’s Youth Outreach Advisory Council to Encourage Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Statewide advisory council adds sports figures Cato June and Todd “TJ” Duckett and State Senator David Knezek to help Get Covered America reach young adults in final month of open enrollment

LANSING, MI – On Wednesday, January 21, the Get Covered America (GCA) campaign announced additions to its Michigan Youth Outreach Advisory Council that include former Michigan State University football star and former Detroit Lion, Todd “TJ” Duckett, former University of Michigan football star and Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts, Cato June, and State Senator David Knezek.  The announcement comes one week ahead of National Youth Enrollment Week, a national week of action to educate young adults about their new coverage opportunities and mobilize them to enroll before the February 15 deadline.

The Get Covered America-Michigan Youth Outreach Advisory Council features youth leaders from across the state coming together to help Michigan’s uninsured young people find affordable coverage. The Council is comprised of elected officials, consumers, and local leaders that serve as trusted voices among 18- to 34-year-olds across the Great Lakes State and focuses on honing youth outreach efforts to ensure that every uninsured young Michigander can access quality, affordable care.

“We’re thrilled to announce that we are adding these local leaders who we believe will help us reach young adults,” said Erin Knott, State Director of Get Covered America.“Michigan’s young people have an historic opportunity to gain quality health coverage that doesn’t break the bank. With less than one month remaining in open enrollment, we’ll work with the Youth Outreach Advisory Council to maximize our reach to young adults and get them the information they need to get covered and stay covered.”

In sitting on the Youth Outreach Advisory Council, DuckettJune and Knezek will join existing members State Representative Adam Zemke, State Representative Phil Phelps, former Michigan State women’s basketball star and owner of Lady Aitch Designs Lauren Aitch, State Public Affairs Chair of the Michigan State Council of Junior Leagues and multiple sclerosis patient Emily Todebush, and ACCESS Marketplace Navigator Whitney Litzner.

DuckettJune and Knezek bring experience working with youth populations, as well as insight on how to most effectively reach and communicate to young adults. In 2011, Duckett launched his nonprofit, New World Flood, which aims to cultivate a culture of volunteerism and develop a sense of responsibility and well-being in local communities and underprivileged areas across the country.  June currently leads the football team of his high school alma mater, Anacostia High School, as head coach, and also serves as the school’s athletic director. After completing two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps and serving as University of Michigan-Dearborn student body president, Knezek is currently the youngest member of the Michigan Senate.

“The Affordable Care Act is providing an historic opportunity for young people to get the financial and health security they need and want, so the time is now for them to get covered,” said Todd “TJ” Duckett.  “In the past, young people purchasing their own coverage faced barriers like cost and denial based on pre-existing conditions.  But many young adults remain unaware of the new consumer protections and the financial assistance that is available through the Marketplace. We need to make sure they know what’s available to them in this final month of open enrollment.”

“As someone who received tremendous support from Michiganders during my college football career, I want to give back by getting the word out about the new Affordable Care Act coverage opportunities to an important audience,” said Cato June.  “I’m eager to help bolster Get Covered America’s reach to young adults, most of whom can get quality coverage for less than the cost of their cell phone bill because of the Affordable Care Act.”

Affordability is one of the top concerns for most young people, which is why GCA is working to find the best ways to let young people know about the financial help that nearly nine in 10 (89%) Michigan consumers receive to lower their monthly premiums. Because young adults tend to make less money, the financial assistance that is available through the Marketplace benefits them greatly.  In fact, nearly half of uninsured single young adults could get covered for less than $50 a month.

Because young adults tend to be among the most uninsured populations, they are more likely to be new to health coverage. Many will be learning the basics of health care coverage from understanding premiums and deductibles to learning about the essential benefits that will be covered the first time.  Get Covered America and members of its advisory council will continue working to identify the best ways to connect young adults to a free enrollment assister who can help them understand their options. Young adults wishing to meet with a free, local expert to help them understand the coverage options are encouraged to use the Get Covered Connector at https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/connector/.

The announcement comes ahead National Youth Enrollment Week during which Get Covered America will host or participate in ten youth-focused events across Michigan, from a job fair in collaboration with JobFairGiant.com to an enrollment event with MusicCares that is geared toward young musicians and artists. The aim of each event, taking into consideration recommendations made by the advisory council, is to engage young adults about the financial assistance that is available to reduce the cost of coverage and the free in-person enrollment assisters that are certified to walk consumers through the enrollment process.

“With the February 15 deadline quickly approaching, I’m proud to be added to the list of elected officials supporting Get Covered America in their efforts to sign young Americans up for health care coverage,” said State Senator David Knezek. “Organizations such as these are essential now because there is so much confusion and misinformation surrounding the Affordable Care Act. I am hopeful that our efforts can maximize the number of young individuals taking advantage of the law to find the health care coverage they need.”

Available for interviews:
State Senator David Knezek
Cato June, Super Bowl Champion and former University of Michigan football standout
Todd “TJ” Duckett, former Detroit Lion and Michigan State University football standout
Erin Knott, Michigan State Director for Get Covered America

Please direct interview requests to sdhanak@enrollamerica.org

Get Started

Sign up to learn more about your health insurance options

Your Health. Your Choice.

Enroll Now

We're here to help you on your journey to get covered. We’ll connect you to your state's Health Insurance Marketplace and let you know what to expect once you get there.

Get Enrolled

About Us

Our passionate staff is dedicated to helping people learn their health insurance options.

Volunteer With Us

Get Covered America is a grassroots campaign powered by volunteers. Sign up now to volunteer!

Image of an assister helping someone get enrolled with health insurance

Partner with Us

If you're an organization interested in partnering with us, you can learn about opportunities here.