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Experts Sound Off on How to Fix HealthCare.gov

Trio of Marketing Masters Offer Advice to Cure Affordable Care Act Launch

By Published on . 4

HealthCare.gov has gotten a makeover since its botched rollout, but massive reputation damage has been done. With only a couple weeks to meet the Dec. 23 deadline for Jan. 1 coverage, the Obama administration has to persuade Americans not to give up on the Affordable Care Act. Here, industry experts weigh in on what the administration can do to clear up the chaos and convert skeptics.

Wendy Lund, CEO of Health-Care Public Affairs Shop GCI Health
Eliminate confusion around coverage and restore credibility through testimonials: Reviving faith in HealthCare.gov will require two things. First, concrete action that assures nervous Americans that they will not have to pay more for coverage that gives them things they don't necessarily want will be critical. Second, the government needs to start shifting the focus from the myriad problems that plague the site to success stories that demonstrate that the system is beginning to work. Now that HealthCare.gov is functioning better, these "successes" should be identifiable, and the government needs to seize on them to begin converting the skeptics, including those in the media.

Lindsay Resnick, CMO of Health Services at KBM Group
Run the cleanup effort like a political campaign: The quick answer is do what our government does best … run it like a political campaign. It's begun to reset expectations around timing and process, and now it needs to rebuild trust among the voters. You'll see much more outreach, especially over the next few weeks, around the enrollment deadline in January. It might include grassroots -- including POTUS on the ACA campaign trail -- to social and possibly an uptick in TV and radio. Basically, everything you didn't see leading up to October because enough insiders were nervous about HealthCare.gov readiness. Welcome to Obamacare 2.0 … and it's only two months in!

Matt Powell, chief information officer, KBS+
Turn data into sharable content: Comparison information, benefits of insurance, relative cost of being insured vs. uninsured and even improvements made to HealthCare.gov are all kinds of "data" that lend themselves perfectly to infographic-style and short-form web-video formats. They're sharable and they reach younger demographics of uninsured.

Relate to the uninsured through branded entertainment: New voices, particularly voices that are more relatable to the uninsured, might be very effective at getting people to reconsider HealthCare.gov. Imagine reality TV stars like the crew of "Duck Dynasty" going through the sign-up process.

Partner with community health centers and pharmacies, use street teams: Target the uninsured at pharmacies -- the uninsured are heavy users of over-the-counter products -- and community health resources, such as health centers and health vans and buses that serve neighborhoods on weekends. They can distribute training and content to their constituents in these communities. Street teams in key geographies nationwide, including volunteers to answer questions and tablet-based sign-up kiosks, can also help establish a beachhead of credibility and trust within communities that have less access to the internet.

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