[ Click here to read this press release in Spanish ]
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ is continuing to step up its campaign to increase enrollment in affordable health insurance among Latinos, a key group in the agency’s mission to provide coverage for all Californians. During January 2014, Latino enrollment in Covered California health insurance plans reached 28 percent, compared with 18 percent cumulative enrollment for October through December.
With six weeks to the end of open enrollment on March 31, Covered California is expanding on this momentum through its grassroots outreach campaign in major Latino communities statewide. A targeted on-the-ground strategy is under way in collaboration with Covered California’s community partners to create face-to-face opportunities for enrollment.
Since December, the exchange has nearly doubled its advertising campaign targeting Spanish- and English-speaking Latinos, improved its Spanish-language website and informational materials, and increased the number of bilingual Certified Enrollment Counselors and Service Center representatives.
“We worked with our community-based partners throughout California to come up with ways to educate and mobilize this population and have listened to their suggestions and concerns,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Based on their input, we believe that our outreach strategies for Latino communities will help build on the increased momentum we saw in January to boost enrollment.”
The grassroots outreach campaign targets seven key areas throughout the state with significant numbers of subsidy-eligible Latinos: Los Angeles (the San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside counties), and the Central Valley and the San Joaquin Valley (Stockton/Modesto and Fresno/Bakersfield).
This approach will coordinate outreach and education grantees, Certified Enrollment Entities and Certified Enrollment Counselors, Certified Insurance Agents, county human services offices, elected officials, health care providers, nonprofit organizations and health insurance companies to jointly meet the health coverage needs of the local community.
These efforts will be supported by increased in-person assistance options for Latinos, as well as by a significant investment in marketing and media buying. Messages will encourage individuals to seek help through thousands of local enrollment counselors and agents that can help them confidentially and at no cost. To date, there are 4,180 Spanish-speaking Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents available throughout California.
Partnerships are also being developed with Southern California Latino supermarkets to host enrollment events in stores and to include Covered California information in their weekly advertising circulars.
In the area of marketing, Covered California plans to spend $8.2 million in Spanish-language media from January to March 2014, an increase of 73 percent from the October-December 2013 media spend.
A new advertising campaign titled “Tengo un Plan de Salud” (“I have a health plan”) highlights successful and satisfied Covered California Latino enrollees who can speak to the benefits of getting coverage through Covered California. These ads are going to show the transformative effect Covered California is having on people’s lives through their own words and stories. They will also show the very tangible benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as well as how people feel now that they’re covered, by declaring “Tengo up Plan.” The Spanish-language ad can be seen below:
Covered California also has been airing radio advertisements offering consumers no-cost, private, one-on-one consultations with qualified representatives who will answer questions from consumers and help them enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. The radio ad is available online at: www.CoveredCA.com/multimedia/audio/CC_Collage_Digging_Deeper_HISP_60.mp3.
Finally, Covered California has implemented a number of additional efforts that will make enrollment easier for Latinos. These include:
- Increasing the number of bilingual Certified Enrollment Entities and Counselors in the areas needing them most.
- Printed resource guides to find Spanish-speaking in-person assistance.
- Targeted emails to Latinos who have shown previous interest in enrolling.
- An updated Spanish paper application.
- Hiring more bilingual Service Center representatives.
- Augmenting the Spanish online chat function.
- Improvements to the Covered California Spanish-language website.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.