CHA News Article

Covered California Releases Third California ACA Consumer Tracking Survey
Announces marketing campaign for third open enrollment period

Covered California has released the third California Affordable Care Act Consumer Tracking Survey, conducted by an independent research organization at the University of Chicago, which assesses recent changes in public knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to health insurance purchase and the effectiveness of the Covered California marketing/outreach campaign.

Key report findings include:

  • Awareness of Covered California has increased substantially since the exchange launched in 2013, and 85 percent of consumers now know about Covered California.
  • Covered California is succeeding in reaching diverse audiences, with high awareness across racial and ethnic groups.
  • Many Californians have learned about Covered California through coverage in the news media.
  • More Californians have been exposed to news coverage about Covered California (60 percent) than have seen advertising (56 percent).
  • When Californians were exposed to news and advertising, most acted on that information. They discussed Covered California with friends and family, thought about purchasing and went to the website for more information.
  • Of those who enrolled for the first time, the vast majority (85 percent) were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their experience on Covered California’s website.
  • Regarding uninsured consumers’ knowledge of the subsidy and of the tax penalty:
  • Even with growing awareness, too many of the eligible uninsured — more than one-third — are not aware that Covered California can provide financial help to reduce the cost of their insurance.
  • More uninsured consumers know about the tax penalty than know about the subsidy, even though the subsidy is a more important factor for those making the decision to buy insurance.

Based on the survey results, as well as a review of research from a wide range of other sources (including those who have enrolled), Covered California reports it has refined its campaign aimed at reaching the uninsured in their communities through navigator grants to community organizations, support for more than 18,000 Certified Insurance Agents, and promotion of storefronts where consumers can get free, confidential help enrolling.

Open enrollment, which runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, will kick off with “Enroll Here” spotlights illuminating storefronts, clinics and hospitals throughout the state, and with a statewide “Spotlight on Coverage” bus tour to bring additional awareness to where consumers can enroll and get care. In addition, a new $29 million advertising campaign will begin Nov. 2. Outreach efforts will include a new television, radio, digital and outdoor advertising campaign to reach multi-segment, Hispanic, Asian and African-American audiences.

Other changes for Covered California’s third open-enrollment period include:

  • Starting open enrollment with more than 500 storefront locations statewide — twice as many as at the start of last year’s open enrollment.
  • Elevating brand names on the Covered California website to ensure individuals understand the insurance they get through Covered California comes from insurers they know and trust.
  • Changing the format of the online “Shop and Compare” tool to make the bottom-line price for consumers more prominent.
  • Promoting the fact that across the state Covered California will be offering optional adult dental coverage as an added benefit for those who enroll, and that in some regions Covered California will offer coverage from two new health insurance companies, Oscar Health Plan of California and UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California.

Covered California estimates that currently about 750,000 Californians are eligible for subsidies, and it forecasts that between 295,000 and 450,000 consumers will newly enroll into health coverage during open enrollment. The full survey results are available on the Covered California website.