Health Exchange Marketing, Consumer Assistance Efforts Take Center Stage

News outlets report on the steps being taken by state and federal governments, as well as by insurers, to reach out to consumers about insurance options that will be available in the new online marketplaces.

Kaiser Health News: State Spending On Consumer Assistance Could Have 'Huge Impact' On Marketplace Enrollment
Florida is on course to spend $6 million to reach out to nearly 4 million uninsured people and help them sign up for coverage in the federal health law's online marketplace this fall. Maryland will spend more than four times as much, or about $24.8 million, to help about 730,000 uninsured. The District of Columbia expects to spend about $9 million assisting 42,000 uninsured. The wide variation in spending to hire and train people to provide consumer assistance in the first year of the new marketplaces could have a major impact on how many people actually get coverage under Obamacare, experts say (Galewitz, 5/5).

Politico: Holding Noses, Insurers Start Hawking Obamacare
The insurance industry may have a love-hate relationship with Obamacare — but a "train wreck" is definitely not good for the bottom line. So health insurers are planning campaigns for the summer and fall to persuade a skeptical public to sign up and get covered by the health reform law (Haberkorn, 5/5).

Reuters: Obamacare Is On The Horizon, But Will Enough People Sign Up
Healthcare reform should be the signature Democratic achievement of President Barack Obama's presidency. But with "Obamacare" five months from show time, Democrats are worried about whether enough Americans will sign up to make the sweeping healthcare overhaul a success -- and what failure might mean for Congress heading into the 2016 presidential race (Morgan, 5/5).

CQ HealthBeat: Wooing The Young To Buy Coverage May Be A Last-Minute, Low-Key Sales Job
Will they or won't they? And what will it take to persuade them? "They" are the young, uninsured Americans the Obama administration is counting on to make the health care law work by signing up for coverage in the exchanges. If they do, the premiums they pay will offset the costs of older, sicker Americans and keep coverage in the new marketplaces affordable (Reichard, 5/3).

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