Covered California is using a new data-driven approach to target specific ZIP codes across the state, pinpointing where higher numbers of uninsured and subsidy-eligible African-Americans live.
Research conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago in the spring of 2015 revealed that while California’s African-Americans are aware of Covered California, they lag behind other ethnicities when it comes to awareness of the financial assistance that is available only through Covered California and that helps consumers pay for their monthly insurance premiums. Data can be found at www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/
New data show that active enrollment among subsidy-eligible African-Americans is at 2.4 percent while African-Americans constitute 5 percent of the state’s subsidy-eligible population. The exchange’s focused efforts to increase the enrollment percentage begins with the third open-enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016.
The campaign centers around establishing enrollment storefronts at highly familiar and visible locations; conducting marketing and outreach that is specific to African-American consumers; and engaging businesses, schools, churches and community organizations. The exchange will encourage uninsured Californians to stop coping with a lack of health coverage and instead enroll in a health insurance plan through Covered California.
“Changing our state from a culture of coping to a culture of coverage is a long-term proposition,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “We’ve made great progress in helping African-Americans gain the coverage they need and deserve, but we recognize there is much more to be done to prove to the remaining uninsured the value of having health coverage.”
Outreach materials will advise African-American consumers that their health and well- being is worth insuring and that many Californians are receiving thousands of dollars each year to help with the cost of health insurance premiums — money that African-American consumers should not walk away from.
Covered California is targeting specific areas in Los Angeles and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire, where two-thirds of California’s 130,000 subsidy-eligible African-Americans reside, as well as targeting areas in Northern California in parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano and Sacramento counties.
Covered California will push enrollment through service channels like storefronts in African-American communities where Certified Insurance Agents and Certified Enrollment Counselors will be on hand to assist consumers. With support from Covered California community partners, the agency will sponsor education and outreach campaigns, with resources for pastors at church enrollment events, informational materials for barbershops and hair salons, and “enrollment block parties” in high-priority African-American neighborhoods.
In addition, enhanced social media and marketing campaigns will be launched to reach African-Americans, and Covered California will have partnerships with local schools, businesses and community-based organizations that serve African-American communities.
“We’ll reach out to consumers where they live, work, pray and play,” Lee said. “Covered California will continue to focus on reaching the state’s diverse population and enrolling consumers in all communities during its upcoming open-enrollment period. We want to make sure we see the enrollment numbers in our African-American communities rise.”