Arches Health Plan announced today that it has partnered with the University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering program and the Sorenson Center for Discovery & Innovation at the David Eccles School of Business in the creation of a consumer focused education app.

People aged 18 – 34 make up roughly 40% of the uninsured in the Utah. Of those, more than half don’t see health insurance as a necessity for them, or their families. This statistic alarmed the staff at Arches Health Plan, and as a company they became focused on educating this demographic. “In younger Utahns can be a belief that ‘that couldn’t happen to me.’ We felt it would really hit home if we related the reality of health issues and accident probability to their lives,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Tricia McGarry-Schumann.

To explain the real benefits of health insurance, Arches turned to University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program in creating a mobile app that gamifies the principles behind insurance, and explains that coverage can lower out-of-pocket costs for individuals.

“We felt the EAE would be a great fit for this endeavor. The University of Utah has a long history of being a market leading developer of games, graphics, and digital entertainment. EAE has won numerous awards, and has consistently been ranked among the best video game programs in the country” Ms. McGarry-Schumann went on to say, “Working with the students directly allowed us the unique opportunity of understanding what this age group needed to hear.”

The student team developed the Arches app. “Save Your Bacon.” The gamification app allows users to describe their lifestyle, and to choose whether or not they would like to be insured. It then takes the user through the course of a year in which they encounter accidents, and actual health costs brought on by their lifestyle. The game allows the person to understand the full impact of health care services on their budget.

Arches is a Diamond Sponsor for the Sorenson Center’s Games4Health Challenge Grand Prix on March 24, 2015, where the EAE students will be entering the Save Your Bacon game into the Grand Prix. “We ar