#StateOfEnrollment: How Targeted Follow-Up Can Increase Enrollment and Reduce Disparities

By Ricky Gonzales

Strategy: To encourage individuals to get covered, Enroll America’s volunteers initiated contact and followed up with uninsured consumers multiple times to talk with them about their new, affordable health coverage options.

Where it was used: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Notable metrics: Uninsured African-American and Latino consumers were about twice as likely to enroll after the third follow-up, and uninsured young people were more than twice as likely to enroll after the third follow-up.

Best Practices to Replicate:

  • Use data systems to track outreach conversations at the individual level
  • Identify consumers who are interested in signing up for insurance but had not yet enrolled for follow-up
  • Start outreach early during the open enrollment period to allow time to follow up before the deadline

Buying health insurance is a major decision, especially for the millions of Americans who have gone years without affordable insurance options. The Get Covered America campaign was designed around recognizing that for many consumers, a single conversation would not be enough to get past years of confusion about the health care system and feeling like health insurance was out of their reach.

Now the numbers from the first open enrollment period bear out what we always suspected: The more interactions our volunteers had with uninsured consumers, the more likely they were to sign up for health insurance.

What’s more, we saw that multiple follow-ups had the biggest association with enrollment among traditionally hard-to-reach populations. Uninsured African-American and Latino consumers were about twice as likely to enroll after the third follow-up, and uninsured young people were more than twice as likely to enroll after the third follow-up. While young adults and minorities started off enrolling at a lower rate than average, this gap nearly vanished when looking at those who had at least three conversations with our volunteers.

EA_enrollment_growth_by_field_contacts

Building ongoing relationships with consumers is critical for overcoming the awareness gap that exists around the Affordable Care Act. Midway through open enrollment, 7 in 10 uninsured adults still did not know that financial help was available, and just as many had not yet shopped for health insurance through HealthCare.gov or their state marketplace. To overcome all of the confusion around the marketplaces and what it meant for consumers, our volunteers followed up multiple times with people who had indicated that they were uninsured throughout the open enrollment period so they could get the information they needed to learn more about their options.

Looking forward to 2015, it will be important to expand on what has been done already to reach more uninsured consumers and follow up with them before the next enrollment deadline. While November 15 is still months away, the work to build and maintain these relationships can start now.

For more ideas on how to take your outreach and enrollment efforts to the next level in the coming months, register today for our national conference, State of Enrollment: Getting America Covered, in Washington, D.C., June 16-18. 

Enroll America Menu
Are you looking for affordable health insurance? GetCoveredAmerica.org