With all the noise over the past six months about the flawed launch of Healthcare.gov, it’s been hard to hear the good stories of hospitals that have worked diligently to get the uninsured enrolled in Medicaid and the health insurance marketplaces. Our essential hospitals have been particularly active—not surprising, given their long experience helping vulnerable people understand insurance options and find coverage.
We came across a good example of this work recently. This story speaks to the power of digital communications to reach your audience with the right messages through effective channels.
Our friends at member Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) recently launched CoverMeAZ.org, a purpose-built website to explain in plain language Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage options and help the community cut through the clutter that too often surrounds the ACA. It has many elements I believe make for an effective web presence:
Keep it simple—CoverMeAZ.org is notable for what it doesn’t include: information overload. It’s clean, simple, and populated with just enough content to help users start the coverage process without feeling overwhelmed.
Be interactive—Engage your users with social media integration, email sign-up, and online questionnaires. MIHS embraces this with its new site—in particular, a “Determine Your Coverage Needs” tool that helps users determine with a few simple questions whether they qualify for expanded Medicaid or marketplace coverage.
Mix it up—For any given user, not all communications channels are created equal. So, give people a choice. CoverMeAZ.org does this well with videos, an FAQ, social media, and an online Google Maps locator for family health centers that offer enrollment services.
Know your audiences—The plain language of CoverMeAZ.org recognizes most consumers aren’t steeped in the jargon of health care. It also offers a Spanish-language version and a responsive format to reach smartphone users as easily as those on a desktop.
CoverMeAZ.org offers a useful model for all our hospitals as they work in communities across the country to realize the promise of coverage under the ACA. It also demonstrates smart use of digital resources to reach your patients—and potential patients—where and when you can have the greatest impact.