CMS Announces Target Markets for Open Enrollment 2017
***COUNTDOWN TO OPEN ENROLLMENT***
CMS Announces Target Markets for Open Enrollment 2017
Local Partnerships and Focused Communication Will Help Drive Enrollment
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 15 target markets for this year’s Open Enrollment. As in previous years, the target markets will be a particular focus for outreach, travel, and collaborations with local partners, also in addition to other nationwide efforts to step up outreach.
“We look forward to engaging Americans all across the country in Open Enrollment beginning November 1, but we are especially excited for a major outreach push in these 15 terrific markets where we’ve seen success in the past and where the potential for enrollment growth remains high,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Marketplace. “Local partnerships and focused communications will ensure that residents of these metro areas know that affordable coverage is available and that we’re here to help them enroll.”
The top 15 target markets for Open Enrollment this year are: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL: Orlando-Daytona-Melbourne, FL; Northern New Jersey; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; Salt Lake City, UT; Phoenix, AZ; St. Louis, MO; and San Antonio, TX. These markets were selected based on three criteria: (1) they present strong opportunities for meaningful enrollment increases; (2) high percentage of eligible uninsured; and (3) Open Enrollment has been successful in these metro areas in the past.
|Market||Open Enrollment 3 Plan Selections
|Tampa, FL||284, 753|
|Northern New Jersey||228,538|
|Salt Lake City, UT||176,096|
|St Louis, MO||134,934|
|San Antonio, TX||120,351|
We expect those numbers to grow this year, since these markets together still include more than 3 million Marketplace-eligible uninsured Americans.
While the uninsured rate has fallen to the lowest level on record, there are still too many Americans who remain uninsured and experience health and financial hardships resulting from lack of coverage. And, experts continue to find that nearly half of uninsured adults are unaware of the financial assistance available to help pay for health insurance. About 85 percent of Marketplace-eligible uninsured Americans could qualify for financial help. To get the word out, focused outreach in the top 15 target markets will heighten awareness of coverage options in these key metro areas and complement nationwide outreach efforts.
No one has more influence and understanding of their community than local organizations. We will be working with groups on the ground to get the word out about affordable coverage and helping people to enroll. On top of that, our outreach efforts in these markets will benefit from more travel, more advertising, and more earned media.
PARTNERING WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
We’ll be partnering with local entities from colleges and fraternities to city governments to private companies to get the word out about affordable coverage.
- Philadelphia: Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), in partnership with Enroll America, is supporting efforts to reduce the number of uninsured residents in Philadelphia. PGW will host trained health care navigators at each of its six Customer Service Centers to help people sign up for coverage and will include information in bill inserts sent to 500,000 household across its service area.
- Chicago: The Chicago Housing Authority will send regular emails to more than 25,000 housing residents before enrollment deadlines and Chicago Public Schools’ Medicaid counselors will make referrals for parents to get navigator assistance with enrollment in Marketplace.
- Northern New Jersey: For the third year in a row, the brothers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will be hosting enrollment events in communities throughout New Jersey. The Omegas have fostered relationships with current students at their respective colleges and even deeper connections within the communities and places of worship that they belong to and often lead.
- Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, and Atlanta: GGP, owner and operator of high-quality regional shopping centers nationwide, will play an active role in open enrollment by distributing background information on the Affordable Care Act to consumers. They will also host navigators and assisters in their Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta properties.
- Tampa: The Tampa Mayoral office continues to be a partner by opening up the doors of community resources to allow residents a place to find enrollment assistance. Some of the resources they will be leveraging this year include recreation centers as enrollment sites, enrollment information on the city website, tabling /marketing opportunities at City co-sponsored events, enrollment promotion on social media, and utility mailings.
- Atlanta: Georgians for a Healthy Future has trained dozens of enrollment assisters and will be educating hundreds of consumers through its innovative new program, G.E.A.R., the Georgia Enrollment Assistant Resource Guide, while also producing a series of “how to” videos to be shared via their social media campaigns.
- Detroit: The Detroit Health Department will promote the ACA to the parents of children participating in the WIC and immunization programs they conduct through the Detroit public school system. In addition, the Health Department will promote open enrollment in school based health centers.
WORKING WITH LOCAL COALITIONS
We’ll be partnering with active local coalitions committed to bringing access to affordable coverage to their communities.
- Dallas: The Enroll North Texas ACA Coalition consists of 30 organizations across multiple counties. The Coalition membership includes partners from the office of elected officials, churches, community health centers, colleges, hospitals, insurers and multiple assister organizations. They will be partnering with local malls and neighborhood organizations in the Dallas area to drive enrollment events and opportunities.
- Miami: The Miami-Dade/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach coalition –led by the Health Councils in the respective counties and includes an array of city and county representatives, colleges and universities, health providers and non-profit organizations – will work with local partners to stand up enrollment events as well as target and canvass neighborhoods with high numbers of uninsured residents.
- Northern New Jersey: New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) has been an advocate, collaborator, partner and lead organizer on the Affordable Care Act in New Jersey. NJCA convenes the state’s leading health care consumer coalition – NJ for Health Care – which includes dozens of community based organizations, and other health care stakeholders. They facilitate an ACA Work Group and its website CoverNJ.org which once again this year boasts local resources, enrollment events and detailed information for New Jerseyans seeking coverage.
- Orlando: The Central Florida Enrollment Coalition (based in Orlando) is comprised of organizations such as the Hispanic Health Initiative, Enroll America, FCIU, CHCF, Planned Parenthood (PPFA), Healthy Start, United Way, PICO, the Florida Association of Community Health Centers (FACHS), and EAC contractors, all of whom will work to drive enrollment among their membership and constituencies throughout Open Enrollment.
- Phoenix: Cover Arizona is a statewide coalition of 600 organizations and 300 individual members committed to increasing health coverage. Members are engaged in building awareness of opportunities available through the Health Insurance Marketplace and AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program. Members are actively engaged in local outreach activities, and are committed to ensuring that trained enrollment assisters are available for consumers seeking coverage. Members include county health departments, hospitals, non-profits, community health centers, health systems, the faith community, educational institutions, and more.
- St. Louis: Enrollment efforts in St. Louis are coordinated by the Cover Missouri Coalition, an alliance of 954 members led by Missouri Foundation for Health. The coalition has helped thousands in St. Louis enroll in affordable health insurance, including traditionally uninsured artists and musicians, cab drivers and hospitality employees. Through its online Find Local Help tool, the coalition allows Missouri residents to find and schedule appointments with free, local enrollment counselors. A mentoring program pairs new staffers with seasoned enrollment counselors to ensure that consumers receive the best information about their insurance options.
- San Antonio: Through a partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, the Enroll San Antonio Coalition will have enrollment assistors at local libraries twice a week throughout open enrollment. Additionally, the West Side Community Center in New Braunfels, Texas provides space to schedule a variety of enrollment events and serve to enroll community members
OFFERING IN-PERSON ASSISTANCE IN KEY LOCATIONS
Many people prefer in-person assistance. To help meet consumers where they are, HHS will have storefronts in each of these target markets where people can get confidential, in-person assistance by trained assisters. We’ll also be engaging with community-based locations where residents can get assistance and enroll.
- Philadelphia: Consumers will be able to get in-person assistance at various locations around the City like the Free Libraries of Philadelphia, Community Health Centers, and the Friends Center.
- Charlotte: Charlotte’s lead navigator, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, will partner with local businesses and neighborhoods to host a series of events throughout Open Enrollment including one in partnership with the Renaissance West Community. Together they will host a “Kick off to get covered” outreach and enrollment event at Renaissance West housing community on November 1st starting at 4pm.
- Houston: Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative will provide enrollment information and support at Houston Health Department Multi-Service and Health Centers located across the city. In addition, special Affordable Care Act activities will be held at colleges, universities and local events.
- Salt Lake City: The Take Care Utah coalition is led by the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH), the Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP), and the United Way 2-1-1 and consists of over 30 organizations and over 100 enrollment assisters. Take Care Utah’s work with the Salt Lake County Health Department has led to a partnership with WIC clinics for outreach and enrollment. Enrollment specialists are on site at WIC clinics on a weekly basis.
- Phoenix: As is years past, many City of Phoenix schools will be opening their doors for navigators to hold regular enrollment hours on campuses. In addition, there is enrollment happening all across the community at WIC clinics, Public Health Department immunization sites, libraries, schools, churches, and community health centers.
OUTREACH AND ON-THE-GROUND COMMUNICATIONS
On top of the email, television, mail, and social media that we’ll use to reach Americans across the country, target markets will see:
- More travel. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, or Marketplace CEO Kevin Counihan will be visiting each of these markets at least once during Open Enrollment to speak with local assisters and advocates who are on the front lines of Open Enrollment; meet individuals who’ve found affordable plans for themselves and their families; and sit down with local media to talk about what open enrollment means to the communities they cover. Throughout Open Enrollment, other Cabinet officials from across the Administration will be visiting some of these markets as well for similar activities.
Getting Ready for Open Enrollment
We’re putting the finishing touches on our plans for Open Enrollment 4. Between now and November 1, you’ll see a series of announcements from us about what’s new, what’s better, and what to expect during this Open Enrollment – including new tools for consumers, new outreach tactics and targeting strategies, and more information about continued access to affordable coverage. Today’s announcement is the sixth in this series. The first, on September 27th, focused on outreach to young adults, while the second, on October 4th, focused on outreach to off-Marketplace consumers eligible for financial help. The third, on October 13, highlighted how we were using smarter targeting and new tactics to improve outreach in OE 4. The fourth, on October 19, provided Marketplace enrollment projections for OE4. The fifth, on October 24, launched Window Shopping encouraging consumers to come to HealthCare.gov to see their options for coverage in 2017 before Open Enrollment begins on November 1st.
Americans can sign up for affordable health plans that meet their needs and their budgets at HealthCare.gov or their state Marketplace websites beginning November 1. Open Enrollment runs through January 31, 2017. Health coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017 for consumers who sign up by December 15, 2016.
- Targeted advertising. We’ll be doing targeted advertising in these markets to ensure consumers have the information they need to find affordable plans that work for them. We’ll have outdoor advertising for HealthCare.gov in these markets, especially in areas with high concentrations of the uninsured. The digital advertising we’re running across the nation will be delivered heavily in each of these markets. And we’ll be buying mobile advertising in these markets, which will be especially effective at reaching younger populations on their phones and tablets.
- More earned media. Throughout Open Enrollment, we’ll be focusing earned media outreach in these markets, working with local newspapers, radio and TV, to make sure consumers in their area know they can find affordable coverage and all the ways we’re here to help them enroll. Lastly, travel by the HHS Secretary and others will be supplemented by call-in’s to radio shows or remote appearances on local TV throughout Open Enrollment, particularly around deadlines and other key milestones. HHS is also developing partnerships with local influencers – radio show hosts, DJs, and athletes – to drive media around deadlines and help reach communities where they are.