Open enrollment on the federal website Healthcare.gov will end this week. But if you’re looking for a plan on Connecticut’s exchange you have a little longer - until December 22nd. And Access Health CT has been using some novel methods to get the word out about health care coverage.
Pretty much everything about his particular open enrollment period has been different thie year. “It was not business as usual,” said Andrea Ravitz, director of marketing for Access Health CT. “We were battling a lot of mixed messages coming from the capital. And that really does not help the consumer understand what was impacting them in and outside of the states.”
With the Trump administration doing the best it could to sabotage the healthcare exchanges, state organizations like Access Health CT had to go back to the drawing board, issuing ads as early as October simply reminding people that the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land.
Then came November 1st and open enrollment. The spots on the web, TV and radio were shorter this year, most of them just 15 seconds and many personally targeted toward a demographic that’s known in health insurance circles as the young invincibles - those 18-24 year olds where the uninsured rate is high.
“That was one of the things that I would say really is very different this year, that we were really personalizing messages," said Ravitz, noting that she now has five years of data from previous open enrollments to help her pinpoint outreach. "The message that they were seeing was something that would resonate with them.”
Often the messages were also personalized to the activity you might be doing - if you were traveling home for Thanksgiving, for instance, you saw an ad on the bus or train with people traveling.
Ravitz says her advertising budget was just about the same as last year, $2.3 million. But spread over just a seven week enrollment period, rather than last year’s four months, the effect was intensified.
And with enrollment running just about level with last year, it appears to have been effective.