To sell Obamacare, officials should learn from state success stories

Selling the public on the insurance requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) —making sure people are aware of the opportunities and helping them find a plan — has proven to be a tremendous marketing challenge. So far, fewer than 10% of uninsured people in the U.S. have signed up for a plan through the federal health insurance exchange. However, several of the states that set up their own exchanges have provided bright spots during the ACA roll-out.

Connecticut, through the quasi-state agency Access Health CT, has signed-up about 65% of the state’s uninsured people. John Quelch, professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health, has co-authored a Harvard Business School case on Connecticut’s success story.

“This is not like Field of Dreams, where if you build it they will come,” Quelch said in a Forbes magazine interview published July 16, 2014. “There are distinct categories of consumers, each of which needs to be addressed in a different way,” he said. This marketing approach helps policymakers ensure that the laws they write benefit those who need them.

Read Forbes article: Marketing Obamacare

Read HBS case abstract: Access Health CT: Marketing Affordable Care