Under the Dome

March 18, 2014

Shane Battier, Roy Williams help Obama pitch health insurance sign-ups

ACC basketball legends Shane Battier and Roy Williams are helping the White House pitch sign ups for health insurance during March Madness.

ACC basketball legends Shane Battier and Roy Williams are helping the White House pitch sign-ups for health insurance during March Madness.

Battier, the Miami Heat forward who helped lead Duke to the 2001 NCAA Championship, did a little advertisement for the health care sign-ups during a White House conference call Tuesday. There are options that make coverage affordable for young sports players, and most people without insurance can get a plan for $100 a month, Battier said.

“You have to protect yourself and make sure if you’re hurt on the court or in the field, you’re covered,” he said. “And now you have only two weeks left to sign up.”

The deadline for getting insurance on healthcare.gov is March 31. People who miss it have to wait until November for the next enrollment period.

“You’ve only got until March 31. Beat the buzzer,” says Williams, North Carolina’s head coach, in a 30-second video with Connecticut women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma. (See video below.)

The video is the lead-in to a White House website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/ACABracket, where viewers can vote for the “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered.”

The White House plans to use the same site Wednesday to release President Barack Obama’s NCAA tournament bracket.

And in one more appeal to young people who play sports – the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report Tuesday about how expensive trips to the ER can be for common sports injuries: for example, $2,300 for a sprained ankle, or $7,700 for a broken arm.

Battier mentioned those amounts when he spoke in the short White House call. He said in 25 years of competitive basketball he’s had more than 90 stitches, a broken elbow, 25 ankle sprains, reconstructive ankle surgery and surgery to remove bone spurs from his feet.

“I’m thankful I’ve always had health insurance,” he said.

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