Twenty-Four Ways To Get Ready for the Second Open Enrollment Period: #Ready4OE2

By William Tomasko

This past month, Enroll America has hosted a webinar and blog series on specific strategies to maximize the number of Americans who get covered and stay covered during the second open enrollment period (OE2).

With eight webinars and a blog post every weekday in October, the #Ready4OE2 series has covered a lot of ground with one goal: getting ready to double down on the most effective ways to reach consumers.

Here’s a round-up of 24 ways to get #Ready4OE2 (and you can check out the full archive of #Ready4OE2 blog posts and webinar recordings and slides):

1. Make sure that current enrollees know they still need to take action during open enrollment to stay covered. Start by sharing (far and wide) this infographic with the key steps those consumers need to take.

Get Covered. Stay Covered

2. Learn the lay of the land for OE2 — how will OE2 be different from OE1? See our first #Ready4OE2 webinar recording and slides for details on OE2-specific policy considerations and messaging best practices.

3. Give consumers the facts they need. For example: When the uninsured know financial help is available, they’re more likely to look into signing up for coverage. Find out more from our Communicator’s Guide webinar archive.

4. Coordinate with partners to multiply your effect and to make sure consumers hear clear and consistent messages repeated in multiple contexts — making it more likely that they will follow through with enrollment.

5. Consider recruiting volunteer Certified Application Counselors to increase in-person assistance in your community. When consumers get in-person help, they’re more likely to get covered.

6. Partner with agents and brokers at enrollment events to make as much in-person assistance available to consumers as possible.

7. Promote health insurance literacy. When consumers have more information, they’re more likely to get covered and stay covered. Learn more from our webinar hosted with Consumers Union.

8. Get the word out in the news media — the main source of information on the new health insurance options during OE1.

9. Test consumer-facing materials whenever possible to ensure that they are effective. You can also use lessons learned from Enroll America’s literature test when developing resources for consumers.

10. Make sure consumers know about the fine for not having health insurance, and test different messaging strategies to find the best way to motivate consumers to enroll.

11. Trying to maximize the number of young adults who get covered? Use this two-step outreach and enrollment model laid out by our friends at Young Invincibles. And see more about what Enroll America’s learned about engaging young adults in this webinar archive.

12. Use data to inform where your organization invests outreach resources and make sure your organization has an outreach work plan in place for OE2!

13. Adopt tactics from the world of grassroots organizing to get facts to the uninsured and collect contact info so you can follow up with consumers to help them get covered and stay covered.

14. The more times you follow up with a consumer, the more likely they are to enroll. Phone-banking can be a systematic outreach strategy for your follow-up program.

15. Develop a data plan that will allow you to record key information on consumers you contact and follow up with. Thanks to data collection and recording, Enroll America saw a 10 percent increase in enrollment when following up with consumers during the last two weeks of OE1.

16. Working in a rural area? We hosted a webinar chock-full of rural-friendly outreach strategies implemented by partners around the country. Dig in even more with these guest blog posts from the Rural Assistance Center, Vermont Health Connect, and the Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program.

17. Get the word out to women. They’re more likely than men to share information on their new health insurance options with their friends and family. Moms are (not surprisingly) trusted messengers. See more about what Enroll America’s learned about engaging young adults in this webinar archive.

18. Get more Latinos covered by hosting enrollment events with culturally and linguistically appropriate in-person assistance. See more about what Enroll America’s learned about engaging Latinos in this webinar archive.

19. Create — or join! — a “Consumer Assistance Task Force,” or similar kind of group, in your state to facilitate collaboration on enrollment efforts among key stakeholders.

20. Follow the best practices Out2Enroll identified to move the needle on LGBT enrollment.

21. Follow the action steps outlined by Action for Health Justice to engage Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who are looking for health insurance.

22. Partner with faith-based organizations. They’re trusted messengers and can help maximize the effectiveness of outreach and enrollment.

23. Promote “healthy competition” among outreach and enrollment staff to reach as many consumers as possible.

24. Working in a state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid? In Georgia and Tennessee, Seedco’s Navigators were still able to connect low-income consumers to low-cost health care options and other public benefit programs.

What did we miss? How are you getting #Ready4OE2? Join the conversation on Twitter!

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