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

The Numbers Behind “Young Invincibles” and the Affordable Care Act

As enrollment statistics in the new health insurance marketplaces start to become available, there is a growing focus on whether the enrollment of so-called “young invincibles” will be sufficient to keep insurance markets stable. Enrollment of young adults is important, but not as important as conventional wisdom suggests since premiums…

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

As states wrap up legislative sessions and make decisions about whether to implement the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this new analysis highlights the implications of these decisions for coverage, state budgets and providers. The decisions by as many as 27 states not to adopt the Medicaid expansion will leave a many more uninsured; these states would also forgo billions in federal funds.

Key Findings from the Field: Early Experience with ACA Enrollment in Maryland and Nevada

To learn more about the early ACA enrollment experience in two states, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and PerryUndem Research and Communication conducted focus groups in Baltimore, Maryland and Reno, Nevada in November 2013 with low- and moderate-income individuals who recently applied for health insurance and consumer assisters trained to help individuals enroll. This study builds on previous work that examined preparations for open enrollment in several states, including Maryland and Nevada, which are both moving forward with the ACA’s Medicaid expansion to low-income adults and have established their own State-based Marketplace (SBM). The focus group discussions included adults who had successfully applied as well as consumer assisters.This brief provides key findings about the early ACA enrollment experience in Baltimore, Maryland and Reno, Nevada based on focus group discussions with these recent applicants and enrollment assisters.

Medicaid Enrollment: June 2013 Data Snapshot

This Data Snapshot provides 50-state data on Medicaid monthly enrollment trends, adding June 2013 data. Overall, Medicaid enrollment growth continued to slow to the lowest rate since the start of the Great Recession as the economic conditions continued to slowly improve. While enrollment growth rates have been trending downward as economic conditions continue to slowly improve, enrollment growth is expected to increase significantly as states implement the ACA. Regardless of whether states decide to implement the Medicaid expansion or not, enrollment is anticipated to grow on average across all states due to new streamlined eligibility and enrollment processes as well as outreach for new coverage. This report provides baseline data for understanding the impact of the ACA eligibility and enrollment policies on enrollment growth across states.

CHIP Enrollment: June 2013 Data Snapshot

This issue brief provides state level CHIP enrollment data, adding the June 2013 period. In June 2013, over 5.7 million children were enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP.) Enrollment in June 2013 increased by 190,453 or by 3.4 percent, compared to one year earlier. Since 2009, annual rates of growth have remained fairly steady, ranging between 3.2 percent and 3.8 percent. In contrast, during the height of the Great Recession, enrollment increased annually by 7.8 to 10 percent. Overall, CHIP enrollment continued to increase, but growth slow to the lowest rates since the start of the Recession as the economic conditions continued to improve. CHIP programs, along with state Medicaid programs continue to play a critical role in assuring health coverage for uninsured children.