Friday, September 27, 2013

Explaining the Open Enrollment Process: Step 1

There are lots of innovative and not so innovative ways that many of us are trying to explain the steps involved in open enrollment (starting just a few days from now).  
Complicated language with complicated visuals; 
Complicated language with simpler visuals; 
Simplified language with schematic visuals: 
You get the idea.  
We're all burrowing, more or less, in the same holes, trying, trying…. 

I first started looking at how consumers with low literacy, or low financial literacy approached choosing a Medicaid Health Plan in the early ‘90s. 

What did I learned then that I'm using now? 
I learned a lesson that Steve Jobs knew better and stated far more simply and elegantly:  

“When our tools don’t work, we tend to blame ourselves. When our tools are broken we feel broken. And when somebody fixes one, we feel a tiny bit more whole” 

(My good friend, Penny Lane, Director for the Center for Health Literacy at MAXIMUS INC. reminded me of this Jobs statement in a speech she gave yesterday at the PlainTalk in Complex Times conference in DC).

When consumers had clearer ideas of how to prepare for decision-making, when they knew more about what they needed to make the decision about health plan choices, they were more confident, more focused, and more capable.

So, even if the health plan choice tools can't be fixed right away, how can we help prepare the consumer to deal with the enrollment process.

Here's's effort to consolidate to 4 simple consumer steps:  

Suggestion #1 in the countdown to open enrollment
(this is after people understand that what open enrollment is)

Have you developed or come across "readiness" information that you could share. 
I'd be happy to post/share ideas here. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Secret is Out: Open Enrollment is Coming to NY Oct 1.

As many of us have noticed, it's hard to find any public health promotion in NYC for Open Enrollment, which starts in 9 days.

But do not despair.  A colleague found and ad in a Walgreen's window on 111th and Broadway.

Over the next 9 days I thought it would be good to report on any other evidence that indeed the healthcare reform so many have waited for and need is actually going to be a reality in NY Oct. 1.

If you have a siting please let us know.  Let's let the secret out.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

10,000 Reasons to Get Health Insurance

The state of Minnesota has created a video showing all the many ways it is working to get out the word the that open enrollment is coming and that it is so very important to have health insurance. 

In it you see all the ways: tv commercials, large outdoor bill boards, bus posters, print ads, radio spots,  digital aids, ...The ads are running now.  Minnesotans are learning about their health insurance choices through the Minnesota Health Exchange everyday.

The state of New York has a video I have only come across on Youtube.  With instructions  " To find out how you or your business can get it go to New York State of Health, the official health plan marketplace."

1. I search in my google browser. 
2. The first thing to pop up is New York State Department of  Health 
3. New York consumers are not off to a good start. 
4. Open enrollment start October 1. 

What does Minnesota know that New York doesn't? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Florida doing its best to put up more barriers to consumers' abilities to enroll with Exchange

State Navigators must stay away from health dept.


The outreach workers known as navigators won’t be allowed to help people sign up for health insurance on the grounds of county health departments, according to a memo from the Florida Department of Health.
The order from Deputy Health Secretary C. Meade Grigg went out late Monday to the 60 local health department directors across the state.
Grigg declined to comment on the directive. But health department spokeswoman Ashley Carr said there was a need for “clarity” and “a consistent message” across the agency....Read More 

Can it get more blatant that this!
It's not going to be difficult enough to reach people who are potentially insurable, so Florida has decided to make it even harder for navigators to do their work in the next month. 
Anyone know of a watchlist tracking these bad acting states?

Read more here: