Lagging Latino Affordable Care Act Enrollment. (Pt 3 of 3)

heart 1 300x400How to fix it.

The country’s largest effort to enroll Americans in health insurance has just ended, and more than 10 million uninsured enrolled through federal and state health insurance marketplaces (including Medicaid).  Although the final enrollment numbers are not available, planning for the next open enrollment season begins now.

As this planning begins at both the federal and state health insurance marketplaces, special focus should be given to the enrollment efforts in the Latino uninsured community.  What are the lessons learned in the 2013-2014 open enrollment that need to be applied to fixing the approach to the Latino uninsured population.  Here below are some initial thoughts to consider:

  • Consumer Engagement.  Beyond the basic demographics, the 2014-2015 ACA open enrollment strategy should become more consumer-centric by conducting a complete analysis of the buying behaviors of the Latino uninsured community as they elected to enroll, or not, through the marketplaces.
  • Targeted Outreach.  With better understanding of Latino consumers,  revitalize a marketing strategy that includes relevant messages, distribution channels, and meaningful events.  Now is the time to buy media space (bus stops, train stations, radio time, etc.) and establish partnerships with trusted organizations (businesses, churches, clinics, etc.)  in geographically representative neighborhoods.
  • Diverse Leadership.  Reconsider federal and state health insurance marketplace boards and management teams to include experts from the following:  a) the health insurance industry, who have created and executed open enrollment strategies, b) retail industry, who understand consumer buying behavior, especially in a “shopping season” environment, c) Latino marketing experts, who understand the cultural nuances of the various subsegments within this community, and d) community-based organizations, who work with “hard to reach” communities such as the Latino uninsured populations.

Finally, we are entering a critical rebuilding phase with its many challenges,  Most important among those challenges is improving the consumer experience, which should contribute to increased enrollment in the marketplaces.



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