The partnership features black doctors speaking to black church groups. “Having a physician there to provide health education not only could mean greater attendance to our events, but it provides a richer context,” said Etoy Ridgnal, director of African-American Engagement and Faith-Based Initiatives for Enroll America.
Insurers have spent about $10 million a week on TV advertising since early December, when the federal HealthCare.gov website improved its operation, said Elizabeth Wilner, senior vice president for Kantar Media Intelligence. As the deadline nears, more insurers are explicitly referring to the ACA open enrollment period in their ads. By the end of February, nearly half of all advertising dollars were spent on spots specifically referencing the ACA, up from a third in earlier months.
“Those large insurers who shied away from it earlier are now realizing that urging people to sign up by the deadline is probably a pretty helpful message to have in the ads,” Wilner said.
Still, convincing many uninsured Americans to see coverage as necessary and affordable is a tough challenge. Uninsured adults younger than 30 are more likely than older adults to believe they don't need insurance and to report good health, according to research from the Center for Studying Health System Change, now Mathematica Policy Research. That makes younger adults more price-sensitive, said Peter Cunningham, professor of healthcare policy and research at Virginia Commonwealth University, who conducted the research. But even among those under age 30, 75% said they believed they needed insurance.
“It's not 'Do they need health insurance?' or 'Do they want it?'” he said. “The central question is, 'Are they willing and able to pay the price?'”
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