ACA finds cheerleaders in unusual places

Diverse businesses nationwide are helping educate customers about insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act, the Los Angeles Times reported. While these efforts may not undo widespread ACA skepticism, they're helping make healthcare reform part of everyday life and supplementing the work of community groups and advocates.  

For example, tax preparers at Jackson Hewitt's 6,500 offices ask all clients if they have health coverage. Staff refer uninsured people to in-house specialists who check clients' Medicaid or subsidy eligibility. The software used to do this generates a Medicaid application for qualifying people.

These efforts may help fill a public knowledge gap about financial help available for health insurance purchases. 

For example, Spanish language broadcaster Univision is airing specials about healthy living and telling viewers how to enroll in ACA plans. Thirty-three percent of Latinos surveyed by Univision said they're likely to enroll in an ACA-related product.    

Washington's state exchange recruited concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment to advertise the marketplace to young adults. "From the outset, we were looking at really innovative partners…because we knew that if we wanted to reach young people, we couldn't look like a traditional government program," Washington exchange head marketer Michael Marchand told the Times.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves, a national basketball association franchise, is running ads at home games sponsored by the state's exchange.       

But not all prospective partners agreed to help. When the Obama administration contacted the national football league about promoting health insurance, Senate Republicans wrote to six major sports leagues warning that such support might damage "inclusive and apolitical brand," the Times noted. The NFL said it had no plans to work with the administration.  

Nevertheless, growing ACA support from unlikely sources is complicating efforts by reform critics to undo the law, the Times noted.

For more:
- read the Times article