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Getting into Gear for 2014: An Early Look at Branding and Marketing of New Health Insurance Marketplaces

As of September 2013, states and the federal government are on the eve of their October 1st launch of open enrollment for the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, where consumers will be able to shop for and purchase private coverage and potentially receive subsidies to lower the cost of that coverage. Achieving adequate enrollment through these Marketplaces will be important for fulfilling the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) goal of reducing the nation’s uninsured rate. Moreover, sufficient enrollment, particularly among younger and healthy individuals, will be important for ensuring the financial sustainability of the Marketplaces over time. Recognizing the importance of enrollment, the federal government and the 17 states operating State-based Marketplaces have invested resources and conducted extensive consumer research to inform the branding and marketing campaigns for their Marketplaces. Based on a review of publicly available materials as of September 2013, this brief provides an examination of the Marketplace branding strategies, websites, and marketing materials, providing insight into how consumers will be introduced to the Marketplaces and some of the key messages and approaches the Marketplaces will utilize to encourage individuals to enroll.