This year, the Obama administration is trying to get uninsured Americans to sign up for Obamacare coverage by advertising on receipts at 7-Eleven stores.
The Department of Health and Human Services is promoting the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, at the bottom of 7-Eleven receipts in an effort to reach the demographic that remains uninsured, the agency announced Thursday. HHS launched a partnership with PayNearMe — a company that provides electronic payment processing for cash payments.
The business allows people to make larger payments — they cite rent and utilities on their website — to participating businesses by allowing them to select the store online, print a barcode and take the “cash payment” to a store in exchange for a receipt. Those receipts will now feature an ad promoting HealthCare.gov, through the end of this open enrollment period on Feb. 15.
“We know that the populations we’re trying to reach, many of the uninsured are those who…are unbanked,” Burwell told press Thursday while launching the program at a Washington, D.C. 7-Eleven, according to The Washington Post. “Those are the people that PayNearMe reaches. We want to try and reach those populations.”
The administration warned that it would be even more difficult to reach many of the uninsured during the second open enrollment period. Last year, efforts focused on big-name celebrity appearances, such as President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ ‘Between Two Ferns.’ This year, they’ve moved to a retail-based effort follows HHS’ Black Friday ad campaign, where Westfield Shopping Centers, the National Community Pharmacy Association and the XO Group agreed to hand out Obamacare advertisements around the country.
They’re targeting the “financially underserved” population with the ad campaign, HHS said in a statement. While the administration is trying to get more and more of the “unbanked” to purchase health coverage, top Obamacare officials don’t appear to be concerned with contingency plans if the Supreme Court rules next year that premium subsidies aren’t available at HealthCare.gov.
The Court will issue a ruling in late June about whether the Affordable Care Act restricts subsidies to state-run exchanges alone. Obamacare administrator Marilyn Tavenner repeatedly refused during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday to inform customers that they may lose their subsidies and have premium rates shoot up halfway through the year. Much of the unbanked population targeted in the new effort will likely be affected by the subsidy battle. (RELATED: Obamacare Chief Stays Mum After Giving Congress False Enrollment Totals)