Obama admin to blast TV, social media ads before open enrollment


Hoping to entice more people to get covered in what will be a critical year for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is set to launch a TV ad and mailing campaign ahead of the Nov. 1 Healthcare.gov open enrollment kick-off.  

Rising premiums and fewer plan options could drive consumers away from marketplace plans, but the Department of Health and Human Services remains unfazed, saying that it has learned in the past three years how to market the exchanges, according to the Wall Street Journal.

HHS will send 10 million pieces of direct mail to target the uninsured using IRS data on who paid the penalty, those who recently lost their plans and those who have expressed interest in enrolling through Healthcare.gov or a Medicaid program, the WSJ reports. 

Further, enrolling more young, healthy consumers is critical to balancing the ACA risk pool. The Obama administration recently launched a #HealthyAdulting campaign to encourage millennials to learn more about their options. Users can get discounted Lyft rides to attend open-enrollment informational events, for example. 

The Obama administration will blast ads across social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, another facet of its millennial-targeting approach, the Associated Press reports. Below is an example of a short advertisement on the Healthcare.gov Facebook page:

The marketing campaign will further the ACA's "historic progress in reducing the number of uninsured,” Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan told WSJ. The current uninsured rate, 8.6 percent, is at an all-time low, FierceHealthPayer has reported.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “fully expects” ACA marketplace enrollment to grow over this enrollment season, Mandy Cohen, M.D., chief of staff for CMS, told The Hill. The Obama administration will also emphasize TV ads during the week prior to the first deadline, tripling impressions during that time, The Hill reports.

Meanwhile, CMS has already started emailing ACA enrollees reminders before their 65th birthdays that they should terminate their plans and switch to Medicare, Kaiser Health News reports