The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way for Americans to find quality health coverage. Enrollment of young adults is a key challenge facing states and the federal government.
As a whole, those ages 18-34 tend to be healthier and less costly, a trait important to marketplaces seeking to reduce their risk by enrolling more healthy people to offset the cost of coverage for the less healthy. Consumers in this age group are also more likely to choose to go without health insurance. For these reasons, young adults have been a priority for enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
States have a variety of options for outreach and enrollment and many have used a combination of several strategies:
- Media Campaigns: "Connect for Health Colorado" conducted a public awareness campaign in both English and Spanish that includes television, print, radio, billboard advertisements and social media such as Facebook and YouTube.
- Navigators, In-Person Assisters and Certified Application Counselors:
- In Kentucky, the state awarded $6.45 million in grants last year to five "kynector" organizations to provide education and enrollment assistance to individuals and small businesses in the state’s eight Medicaid regions.
- Nearly 44,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan on “Your Health Idaho,” Idaho’s Health Insurance Marketplace, making Idaho second in the nation, per capita, for enrollments. This is in large part because of in-person assistors, agents and brokers, also known as consumer connectors, who have set up shop in almost 150 locations around the state.
- Store-Fronts: In Connecticut, Access Health CT has applied the Apple Store model to enroll people in the state’s marketplace. “Store front” enrollment locations in New Haven and New Britain reported enrolling 300 to 400 people per day.
Open enrollment ended on March 31, 2014. States will now begin assessing the outcomes of their efforts and planning for the 2015 open enrollment which begins on Nov. 15, 2014. State legislators may want to ask officials and partner organizations about the following:
- What are my state’s enrollment numbers?
- Private plans vs. Medicaid?
- How do these numbers match up with projections?
- Is my state on target for enrolling young adults (ages 18-34)?
- How are people enrolling in my state?
- What are my state’s outreach strategies?
- How are these strategies being evaluated?
- Did my state upgrade its Medicaid enrollment system?
If so, how is it working?
For more information about the Marketplace and helping people apply, check out: http://marketplace.cms.gov/