Calif. Health Exchange To Spend $290M on Public Outreach Efforts

TOPIC ALERT:

Covered California officials plan to spend about $290 million on public outreach efforts to increase awareness of the state health insurance exchange, American Public Media's "Marketplace Health Care" reports (Shahani, "Marketplace Health Care," American Public Media, 4/25).

Background

Covered California primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.

Supporters hope that the exchange will function similar to websites like Amazon and Expedia so that users will be able to choose between various health plans through an easily navigable online store.

The exchange is expected to open for registration in October (California Healthline, 3/5).

Details of Outreach

According to exchange officials, most of the $290 million will be allocated for:

  • Social media outreach efforts;
  • In-person grassroots outreach efforts; and
  • Data mining.

Meanwhile, the California Endowment has invested $225 million in efforts to help the state implement the Affordable Care Act, and a portion of those funds will go toward marketing the exchange.

Daniel Zingale -- vice president of the organization -- said that there is "still a lot of confusion" about the exchange among California residents. He added, "Even people who say they think it's probably a good thing are surprised when they find out they may be eligible" ("Marketplace Health Care," American Public Media, 4/25).
Lorri Holzberg
Many health care providers are also confused. Most people do not understand the term health exchange.

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