Groups that help enroll people on the Obamacare exchanges are struggling to encourage enrollment because, at least in part, to a lack of awareness about the program’s continued existence, the Daily Beast reports.
The Trump administration has drastically cut the funding used to market Obamacare and to assist people in enrolling in its health exchanges, leaving some potential enrollees convinced the program has already been repealed.
One so-called navigator, individuals tasked with aiding Obamacare enrollment, from Michigan told the Daily Beast that his task is made more difficult by a belief among potential enrollees that the program has already been repealed, or likely will be in the near future.
Obamacare proponents have argued marketplace instability and falling enrollment numbers are the direct result of intentional sabotage on the part of the Trump administration. The administration announced a 90 percent cut to the Obamacare advertising budget in late August and a 39 percent cut to the navigator program.
Analysts who study enrollment argue advertising is essential in prompting enrollment among young, healthy individuals, who are needed to offset the costs of older sick people.
“Effective education ensures that consumers understand their coverage options and encourages broader participation of healthy individuals,” Kristine Grow, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans told Bloomberg.
Advertising is essential to the success of Obamacare, argued Josh Peck, former chief marketing officer for Obamacare’s enrollment website Healthcare.gov. He cited the volume of enrollees who were unaware of the program before encountering publicly funded advertising.
“Why does Coca-Cola still advertise?” Peck told Bloomberg. “There was a tremendous amount of documented evidence of the efficiency of these dollars.”
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