Deep Dive: How to Hold a Successful Outreach Event

Click here to view the slides, presented by Kate Doehring, National Regional Director at Enroll America, on August 8, 2014.

Overview

Successful outreach events must be thought about strategically and include a few key components. An “outreach event” is any event or place where one can interact with consumers with the goal of motivating them to enroll in health insurance.  There are four major types of outreach events:

  • High-Traffic Events: Any place where there is high pedestrian foot traffic (examples include: public transportation hubs, summer festivals, etc.)
  • Community Events: Any place where the community that you are trying to reach gathers (examples include: church health fairs, block parties, etc.)
  • Organizational Meetings: Any place that has membership including your target outreach communities (examples include: local clubs with membership, small business staff meetings, etc.)
  • Door-to-Door Events: Any event where you physically go door to door and speak with consumers.

There are some types of events that may be more helpful in reaching specific consumer populations.  Below are some suggestions of places that have worked in previous outreach work by Enroll America organizers and partner organizations.

Constituency-Specific Outreach

For Latino-specific outreach, look to community centers and Spanish-speaking media. To reach populations that are heavily African American, think about outreach to faith institutions and constituency-specific media. Young Americans can be reached through outreach to trade schools, community colleges, jobs agencies, and retail locations. To develop an outreach plan for rural populations, look to build community relationships and empower local rural leadership. 

Messaging

After you think about the ways in which you can reach consumers, there are five key messages to deliver; the most important is the first one:

  1. Financial help is available
  2. Free, in-person assistance is available (in native language)
  3. Essential health benefits are covered
  4. Can’t be denied for a pre-existing condition
  5. No fine print

Setting Up an Event

Here are the six steps needed to set up a successful outreach event:

  1. Pick a location and event type and confirm logistics
  2. Recruit some help! Volunteers, partners, or staff and call and email potential participants
  3. Create and print your materials (flyers, eye-catching signs, etc.)
  4. Confirm participants with a phone call and follow-up email
  5. Final confirmations, materials preparation. Gather your team together to check in before the event
  6. Have a successful event!

Looking Ahead

With 100 days left (at the time of the presentation) what can you do right now in the summer months to plan for the future?

  • Medicaid Expansion: If you are in a state with expanded Medicaid, there are countless opportunities to hold outreach and enrollment events in your areas of focus.
  • Special Enrollment: Outside of open enrollment, there are a number of qualifying life events that can trigger a special enrollment period for consumers. These offer enrollment opportunities right now and usually have to be completed within 60 days of the life-changing event.
  • List-Building: Think about ways to build up your consumer contact list with information given to you now so that much of the preparatory work for consumers (email creation, health literacy) can happen before November 15.

Tools to Help:

Enroll America Menu
Are you looking for affordable health insurance? GetCoveredAmerica.org