A Policy Solution to Increase Funding for Outreach to Drive Enrollment and Keep Premiums Low

By Sophie Stern

Enroll America has recommended that the next Administration continue to support robust outreach and education efforts and is calling on Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) to double (at least!) its proposed increase in funding for marketplace outreach in 2018 and beyond. This would bring dedicated funding for outreach up to a minimum of 30 percent of premium revenues or about 1 percent of premiums (up from 15 percent of revenue and about 0.5 percent of premiums).

In a Health Affairs article this week, Peter Lee, Executive Director of California’s Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), calls on the marketplace to do the same, stating “The federal marketplace should increase its assessment on health plans to be sure that it has the marketing dollars needed to promote a healthy risk pool — an increase of the assessment by 0.5 percent should make a total of more than $600 million available for the robust level of marketplace marketing and outreach investment needed level to support a good risk mix.”

Marketplaces like Covered California have led the way by investing in a robust outreach and enrollment strategy in 2013, and saw the best risk mix in the nation in 2014 and 2015.

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