HHS uses holiday weekend to drive enrollment outreach

In an effort to reach its goal of enrolling 9.1 million individuals on health insurance exchanges by the end of 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services is taking the healthcare reform law on the road on this busy holiday shopping weekend, reports Politico.

Prior to the start of the second round of open enrollment, public outreach and marketing campaigns were quiet, as the focus was on fixing the looming technical issues plaguing the federal exchange. As previously predicted, though, the focus has now shifted to a more targeted marketing strategy.

With the intent to target three key days after Thanksgiving--Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday--Westfield Shopping Centers, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the XO Group will lend a helping hand to consumers going through the enrollment process, notes the article. HHS is expected to announce new retail store, pharmacy and website partnerships later today.

Westfield malls in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Washington will employ "navigators" to hand out fliers and do outreach work. The NCPA plans to host calls with HHS on how to train pharmacists about open enrollment, while the XO group will target women who may be pregnant or plan to get married, according to Politico.

The administration's efforts align with the rise of consumerization throughout the industry, especially as consumers want personal, face-to-face time when it comes to purchasing for and learning about their health plan options.

Hence the administration's more practical approach, reports Politico. HHS recognizes the challenges for this current enrollment period--namely, a shorter timeframe, re-enrolling individuals and encouraging individuals to sign up during a busy holiday season.

For more:
- here's the Politico article