Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s largest health insurance provider, has launched a new community outreach program to assist state residents in choosing the most appropriate health insurance plans.
The effort is in response to the federal government’s move earlier this year to reduce funding for the marketing and promotion of the Affordable Care Act by 90 percent. Federal funding for that effort is now just $10 million, and the period in which consumers could enroll in health care plans under the ACA has been cut to six weeks from 12 weeks. Open enrollment will take place between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.
In response to the cutbacks, Horizon said it will launch a heavy digital advertising campaign that will create a statewide presence utilizing paid search, banner ads, social media and video to remind consumers about the open enrollment period and how Horizon can help guide them. The company will also launch a traditional advertising campaign encourage its members to take advantage of the shorter open enrollment period.
The insurer will also send its “Blue to You” mobile vans to 15 different locations throughout the state to provide educational and enrollment services to local residents, and hold a series of town hall meetings to assist residents in enrollment. The locations and schedule of town hall meetings can be found here.
“As Washington reduces its effort to promote open enrollment, Horizon is stepping in and stepping up to connect New Jersey residents with the information and resources they need to get coverage to improve their health,” Michael Considine, Horizon BCBSNJ vice president of consumer, small group and mid-size market units, said in a prepared statement.
“We are putting unprecedented resources into this effort through community-based outreach, expanding our footprint in malls throughout the state, hosting regular grassroots education events and making agents available in person, on the phone or online to help people choose the plan that is right for them and see if they qualify for federal tax credits that have helped nearly 80 percent of the people who get health insurance through the individual market.”