Making the Connection: New Issue Brief on Scheduling Tools and In-Person Assistance

By Molly Warren

In November 2014, Enroll America launched the Get Covered Connector, an assistance scheduling tool that went on to be used in 24 states and the District of Columbia during the second open enrollment period (OE2). During OE2, assisters offered a half million appointments and consumers made over 60,000 appointments through the Connector, with about half of attended appointments ending in enrollment.

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Our latest issue brief, Making the Connection: How Centralized Scheduling Benefits Consumers, Assisters, and the Enrollment Community, released today, underlines the value of using such a tool and covers the lessons we and our partners learned during OE2. It also dives into unique data from the Connector on consumer behavior, needs, and preferences for in-person assistance — with findings that are relevant to the entire enrollment community. The data include insights into appointment outcomes, distance traveled to in-person assistance, popular appointment times and days, and behavior changes surrounding deadlines.

A few takeaways include:

  • Variation in appointment outcomes: Consumers were more likely to show up for their appointment if they were in contact with a person beforehand.
  • Distances to in-person assistance: Consumers traveled an average of 4.5 miles to an appointment.
  • Popular times to complete appointments: Weekend appointments were almost twice as likely to be filled as weekday appointments, and of completed appointments, the single most popular time slot was Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
  • Behavior changes around deadlines: Compared with the first two weeks of OE2, twice as many consumers completed appointments in the two weeks leading up to the December 15 deadline, and four times as many consumers completed appointments in the two weeks before the February 15 deadline.

Consumer Appointments and Enrollments During OE2, November 15, 2014 – February 20, 2015

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We are also hosting a webinar this afternoon, in conjunction with the issue brief’s release. The webinar will explore key findings from today’s issue brief, and highlight Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (NC) and Planned Parenthood, two of our on-the-ground partners who used the tool and will describe their OE2 experiences. We’ll also provide a preview of exciting changes and improvements to the Connector for the next open enrollment period. We hope you check out both the issue brief and the webinar to learn more about the benefits of assistance scheduling tools and additional consumer insights — and that you are able to apply some of these lessons in OE3!

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