Reaching the Uninsured: Outreach Strategy for Open Enrollment 4

Lean, mean, outreaching machine can describe the administration’s outreach strategy for 2017 open enrollment. Healthcare.gov will be taking lessons learned from the past three open enrollments, as well as its own testing data and analysis, to be more targeted, effective and efficient:

Who: People needing coverage

Healthcare.gov will be reaching out to people who started an application last year for marketplace coverage, but for whatever reason, didn’t sign up. This targeted outreach to people who received a determination for financial assistance may be quite effective to remind them of the financial help that is available to get covered. Also included in this group are people who lost eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, or who didn’t quality last year because their incomes were too high. And for the first time this year,Healthcare.gov will partner with the IRS to reach out to individuals and households who paid the penalty last year for not having insurance or who claimed an exemption. This targeted outreach is likely to be quite effective for young adults, who were overrepresented as paying the penalty and also the largest group of the remaining uninsured.

What: Increasing enrollment with data-driven tactics

Messaging this year will include the availability of financial assistance and the impact of that assistance to encourage new and current consumers to shop for a plan. In particular, Healthcare.gov found through data analysis that sending an email reminding people of their eligibility for financial assistance increased enrollment rates by 17 percent. Deadlines for open enrollment will also be highlighted with a targeted outreach to young adults, who were found to be more deadline-sensitive, showing higher enrollment rates at the end of open enrollment in January. The administration will also continue to remind consumers about the penalty for not having insurance, a tactic that has increased enrollment in previous cycles.

When: Before and during open enrollment

Healthcare.gov will be conducting outreach before opening day on November 1 and throughout the enrollment period with both radio and television advertising. There will be a push of television advertising leading up to December 15, the last day to get coverage for a January 1 start date. Healthcare.gov will also be able to email consumers using the online platform in near-to-real time with reminders of completing the application, including what to do when a data-matching inconsistency occurs.

Where: People get information

In addition to increasing their messaging through direct mail, which will jump from 800,000 to 10 million pieces, Healthcare.gov will use more digital platforms, such as Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook. This targeted outreach to millennials is part of the administration’s efforts to strengthen the marketplace risk pool. And as more people go online to find information, Healthcare.gov will apply best practices from previous years’ search advertising programs to connect people using search engines for health insurance coverage to the online platform.

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