Lagging Latino ACA Enrollment (Pt 2 of 3)

heart 2 300x400What went wrong.

Much to the dismay of many decision-makers, Latino enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not gone exactly as planned.  The elusive Latino uninsured consumer has been unconvinced and, in many cases, fearful of the enrollment process.  When the enrollment of the critical Latino uninsured population, which tends to be younger and healthier, does not meet the projected numbers, then a review is necessary if those numbers are to improve in 2015.

So what were the prevailing strategies used by both the federal and state health insurance marketplaces?  Let’s review.

  • Traditional Marketing.  Most ACA outreach and enrollment efforts focused on translating existing advertising, radio spots and collateral materials into Spanish without considering the cultural complexities of the Latino uninsured segment.  Demographic characteristics such as nationality, level of assimilation, immigration status and socioeconomic levels were not integrated into campaign messages that would resonate with the various segments of the Latino uninsured community.
  • Consumer Experience.  An effective health insurance member acquisition and retention strategy requires the creation of a positive consumer experience.  Several aspects of the 2014 ACA enrollment strategy did not provide a positive experience to many Latino uninsured.  Those critical enrollment aspects included:  advertising that directed the consumer to a website or a customer service center that, in many cases, had limited number of bilingual counselors, resources that were available in Spanish several months late and limited outreach partnerships with trusted community-based organizations.
  • Diverse Leadership.  Federal and state health insurance boards and management teams may have lacked critical skill sets in areas such as:  health insurance, consumer retail and online enrollment, as well as the all-important Latino uninsured community.

Now that federal and state health insurance marketplaces are looking ahead to the November open enrollment season, there are lessons that can be applied to fixing the approach to the Latino uninsured population.  these revised approaches should make the enrollment process more appealing, efficient and effective.  So what to do next?

Read Part 3 of this series to understand “How to fix it.”

Related posts: