Continuing the Dialogue: Top Messages for Consumers in OE4

By Jennifer Sullivan

As the open enrollment period swings into gear this week, we’re excited to share our new quick-reference guide to the top messages consumers need to hear to be activated to enroll (or reenroll!) for 2017 coverage.

Six Things to Know for OE4

We updated the key messages included in last year’s Communicators Guide, which synthesized the latest messaging research, consumer surveys, and our experiences on the ground to come up with the key things consumers need to know and understand about their options in order to get covered (and stay covered!).

While the fourth open enrollment period brings some new challenges, the messaging themes continue forward. Here are some fast facts to support each of the key messages:

1. More than 4 in 5 people qualify for financial help.

  • About 85 percent of current marketplace enrollees and marketplace-eligible uninsured Americans qualify for financial help to lower the cost of monthly premiums.

2. Free, in-person enrollment help is available in your community.

  • Over 80 percent of consumers would recommend in-person enrollment assistance to a close friend.

3. Health insurance helps protect your health and your wallet.

  • Nearly one in three marketplace enrollees have a plan with an annual deductible of $250 or less, and over 80 percent of marketplace enrollees have a plan that covers some services before the deductible.

4. Shop & compare to find a plan that fits your health care needs and budget.

  • More than 7 in 10 current marketplace enrollees could save money on their annual premiums by shopping for coverage.

5. If you don’t have insurance, you could face a fine of $695 per adult — or more.

  • More than 5 million taxpayers paid a fine for not having coverage in 2015. The average fine was $442 (and the fine for 2015 was lower in 2015: $325 or 2% of annual household income).

6. The deadline to enroll is January 31, 2017.

  • Mentioning the deadline along with information about the fine is a proven motivator.
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