As Enroll America and our partners work energetically these last few weeks before the March 31 deadline, we remain singularly focused on ensuring that consumers enroll in quality health coverage with the financial help that they need. And our on-the-ground experience in communities across the country, as well as research from a major online survey we conducted, points us to a particular, two-step persuasion process that makes consumers more likely to get covered.
The majority of those signing up for a plan through the marketplaces (83 percent) are eligible to receive financial assistance, and one consumer-friendly tool we have developed, our Get Covered Calculator, allows consumers to quickly get an estimate of how much financial help they might qualify to receive:
Simply showing consumers the Calculator makes it more likely that they will purchase insurance. However, it becomes an even more effective tool when you take one more quick step to help introduce consumers to what the calculator results will actually mean for them.
We learned some best practices about how to talk to consumers regarding the Calculator as a result of a large-scale online survey about recent health insurance experiences that Enroll America conducted in December 2013, which included 3,468 consumers who indicated that they were either uninsured or looking for better coverage and who had tried to sign up for coverage since October 1.
Here’s what we found: Consumers are the most likely to sign up for coverage when they have access to the Calculator and are given a brief explanation about how the marketplaces can provide savings to them based on their income. Consumers are more likely to enroll when they hear that the marketplaces could help them reduce what they pay each month by about 30 percent on average if they qualify, potentially translating to saving hundreds of extra dollars in a year. This is true across all ages, including young adults.
So whether you’re an official enrollment assister, or you’re just talking with your friends, your neighbors, or your son over the next few days, if they still have not taken the final step to get covered, make sure to talk to them about the new financial savings available through the marketplaces and show them the Calculator.
If you’re not a math whiz – don’t worry! The results are easy to understand, and don’t require a sheet of scratch paper. It is fast, easy, and the best way for you to make an immediate impact. By showing people the real monthly savings they can get through the marketplace, you can play a significant part in their choice to enroll.
As we continue to engage consumers wherever we can — in their homes, at their schools, libraries, places of worship, and their barbershops — to inform them about their new affordable coverage options through the marketplaces, we’ll continue to use the Calculator to them decide to get covered.