California Health Insurance Awareness Study
Lack of good data on the performance the marketing campaign driving enrollment efforts.
Covered California, the largest of the state insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act, invests tens of millions of dollars annually to reach Californians in need of individual health insurance coverage. But how are the campaigns performing? Are they reaching those most in need? What are trends in consumer knowledge about Covered California and views about its products, brand, and the ease of health plan selection and enrollment? Without answers to these questions decision makers would be unable to make ongoing refinements to marketing strategies.
Annual market tracking surveys to provide data on critical campaign performance metrics.
The challenge was to gather data not only from the multiple segments of the state’s individual insurance market but also comparison groups e.g., Californians with employer-sponsored coverage and Californians eligible MediCal, the state’s Medicaid program. Also, Covered California wanted to understand differences based on income, language and race/ethnicity and do all of this rapidly and cost-effectively after the end of open enrollment each winter. NORC developed a solution involving a hybrid design combining both probability with non-probability sampling approaches with data being collected through a self-administered web survey of adult Californians. The survey assesses campaign exposure, knowledge about Covered California, views about its brand, beliefs about the value of health insurance coverage, and consumer shopping and enrollment behaviors and experiences.
Data are used to refine marketing messages and strategies to increase enrollment.
The studies tracked ongoing consumer knowledge deficits about the availability financial assistance at Covered California. They also shed light on other important issues for campaign decisionmakers to address including differences between the longer-term uninsured and those moving in and out of coverage due to shorter-term changes in life circumstances, the unique needs of Spanish speaking consumers, and the potential role of brand image in the decision of some consumers to purchase from off-exchange sources. Insights in these and other areas allowed campaign planners to hone their campaign messages and strategies over time. As a result, more than 5 million Californians have enrolled in Covered CA plans since the first open enrollment period 2014 and the state has reduced its uninsured rate from approximately 17% to 7%.