New Consumer Portal Launched for Nevada Insurance Exchange
On Monday, June 10, 2013, the Silver State Nevada Insurance Exchange launched its consumer web portal, NevadaHealthLink.com. This is a website that will allow customers to compare qualified health insurance plans and purchase policies that fit into their personal budgets. The information contained on the website is user-friendly, designed to help consumers understand their options. Enrollment in the Nevada health insurance exchange will open in October.
Healthcare System to be Taxed by More Insured Residents
In Nevada alone, almost 59,000 senior citizens will enroll in Medicare over the next five years and 355,000 Nevadans will enroll in Medicaid, the Nevada health exchange or in a health plan through their employer in the next 24 months. By the year 2020, the number of insured residents of Nevada will increase by 600,000. While this is the goal of the federally mandated Affordable Care Act, it will put a strain on the state’s healthcare system, particularly in terms of shortage of healthcare professionals who can provide service.
Marketing Effort to Begin in JulyIn order to meet those enrollment numbers, the Nevada Division of Insurance is preparing to launch the first stage of its marketing plan designed to provide Nevadans with information about the Nevada insurance exchange, including the types of policies that will be available for purchase and the private insurance companies that are offering those plans. In addition, the website will educate residents on the numerous points of the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
The marketing plan will include both digital media advertising as well as traditional forms of advertising by outreach employees of the exchange. It will target residents who do not currently have health insurance but will be forced to pay a penalty in January, 2014 if they decide not to enroll in a health plan offered through the Nevada insurance exchange or a private insurance company that is not participating in the exchange.
Target Audience Skeptical
Unfortunately, at least half of those uninsured residents do not believe they need insurance at all. This population is made up of mostly males aged 18-33, though a large number of Hispanic families is included in that number as well.
The young men in that age group typically believe they are invincible and therefore, do not need insurance, whereas the Hispanic families are often suspicious of government involvement in their lives. They are, on the whole, focused on survival in the moment and do not concern themselves with the future. Both segments of this population do not see the need for paying for health insurance because they might never need it.
Neutral Exchange Website Name
To help reach the targeted audience, the program’s name, Nevada Health Link, was intentionally neutral, avoiding any mention of a government agency. The marketing firm behind the outreach effort, KPS3 Marketing, has scrutinized the language on the Nevada insurance exchange website to ensure that it is simple and straightforward so that consumers do not feel the system is too complex for them to navigate.
The second stage of the marketing campaign will begin in October, when the outreach team will encourage uninsured residents to enroll in a plan, whether it is through the Nevada insurance exchange or a private insurer.