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Some Insurers Step Up Pitch for ACA

President Donald Trump’s 90 percent cut to Affordable Care Act (ACA) advertising has compelled U.S. health insurers in many states to dig deeper for funds to get the word out about 2018 enrollment...
November 7, 2017

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President Donald Trump’s 90 percent cut to Affordable Care Act (ACA) advertising has compelled U.S. health insurers in many states to dig deeper for funds to get the word out about 2018 enrollment. Independence Blue Cross, a health insurer in Pennsylvania, for instance, has commissioned a tractor-trailer truck to bring insurance consultants out to shopping centers and other neighborhood spots around Philadelphia, while Centene Corp. is increasing its ACA print and TV advertising as it expands into three new states: Kansas, Missouri, and Nevada.

The government’s advertising budget is now just $10 million for the 39 states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov website to enroll consumers. The advertising helps draw in young, healthy customers who keep overall member costs down, and the ads address confusion about ACA subsidies.

Meanwhile, the abbreviated fifth annual season for buying insurance under the ACA opened nationwide on Nov. 1, with scattered reports of crowds, some technical difficulties, and public confusion surrounding the law. The enrollment period lasts through Dec. 15. This year, the Trump administration sent advance emails about enrollment only to people with current health plans through ACA marketplaces, which left out most of the names in a database of about 25 million consumers who once had such coverage or at some point explored HealthCare.gov.

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