Provides best practices for hospitals to use in health
insurance outreach and enrollment efforts based on
interviews with administrators, staff and community
representatives at eleven small rural hospitals. Also
discusses certified application counselors who help
individuals enroll in health insurance and the importance
of collaborative partnerships in the community to conduct
insurance enrollment outreach and education.
Based on their experiences during the first Affordable
Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period, five of 11
surveyed rural hospitals reported positive outcomes
likely related to their enrollment success: decreases in
proportions of self-pay / uninsured patients, charity
care, and/or bad debt. Of the remaining six hospitals,
one reported no significant changes and five had not yet
begun to assess the consequences of their efforts Key
strategies and approaches highlighted by the 11 hospitals
included the following:
- Designate a project manager to handle open enrollment
who can dedicate time to it.
- Leverage partnerships with local organizations to
boost enrollment, resources, and referrals.
- Get involved with planning groups and committees at
state and regional levels to see what is and is not
working at other facilities.
- Pursue a multi-faceted, targeted approach in outreach
and marketing efforts.
- Employ Certified Application Counselors (CACs) and
make them as accessible as possible.
- Use names of state marketplaces or generic terms
rather than "Obamacare."