Effective Messaging in the African-American Community

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Soon, millions of Americans will be eligible for new health coverage options, due to the Affordable Care Act.

Most important motivators for African Americans

Here are the top three messages that motivate African Americans to learn more about the new health coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace:

  • If you or a family member gets sick, you won’t have to worry about big medical bills or going bankrupt.
  • The insurance plan you choose will be there to cover all of the care you need.
  • You will be able to find a plan that fits your budget.

Best messengers for African Americans

  • Doctor.
  • Someone like them.
  • Someone who has been through the process and knows how it works.

How to talk about applying

When asked, uninsured African Americans get nervous about the process of applying for health insurance. In order to make them feel more confident in their ability to apply, it’s important to emphasize that they will be able to:

  • Find in-person help to answer their questions and assist in filling out an application.
  • Find out what kind of financial help they might qualify for.
  • Find the plan that is best for them.

It’s also important to emphasize that the Health Insurance Marketplace will allow consumers to:

  • Make apples-to-apples comparisons of costs and coverage between health insurance plans, explained in easy-to-understand language.
  • See what their premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before they decide which plan to enroll in. This way consumers can choose a plan that’s right for them.

How to talk about Health Insurance with African Americans

The question is often asked, when engaging African Americans consumers, “What should I say to them?” Keeping in mind what messages motivates African Americans is a good place to start the conversation.

Scenario 1: Health and Financial Stability



Scenario Two: Affordability



Scenario Three: Prior Negative Experience with a Health Insurance Plan


Scenario Four: How does it work?


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