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As the fourth open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, online health insurance marketplaces must consider ways in which they can assess the consumer user experience in order to make continued improvements. Direct consumer observation, known as Consumer User Experience (UX) assessment, represents one such tactic that could serve as a very valuable tool for marketplaces as they continue their future strategic planning. This issue brief, prepared by Claudia Page, examines UX assessment channels and provides a closer look at what can be learned by directly observing actual consumers as they apply for coverage.

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Date Created: Jun 29, 2016
Document Type

As health insurance marketplaces continue to approach the fourth open enrollment period, the development of innovative models and partnerships for reaching consumers becomes increasingly important. During the third open enrollment period, MNsure, Minnesota’s state-based marketplace, designated and supported twenty broker-operated enrollment centers around the state, which made a series of special commitments to promote enrollment through the marketplace. Determining the efficiency and effectiveness of such efforts is critical for the planning and development of future efforts undertaken by marketplaces.

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Date Created: May 31, 2016
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017, as well as the final version of its 2017 letter to Qualified Health Plan (QHP) issuers participating in the federally-facilitated marketplace (FFM). The State Network team at Manatt Health led a webinar explaining this final rule and what it will mean for states.

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Date Created: Mar 11, 2016
Document Type

Tax year 2014 marked the first year during which all health insurance marketplaces were required to report information about Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) to enrollees through Form 1095-A, which was developed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and used by enrollees to fill out new tax forms. In order to address potential concerns leading up to the execution of this process, the State Network convened a workgroup of states, led by Manatt Health Solutions, which enabled discussion of implementation challenges and solutions. Many of the expected challenges associated with this process were addressed in advance, allowing the marketplaces to provide most forms in a timely fashion and develop solutions to challenges as they arose.

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Date Created: Oct 16, 2015
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As health insurance exchanges approach the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), social media platforms continue to represent vital channels through which exchanges can reach consumers. Using social media to inform and educate consumers about the availability of affordable coverage options through the marketplace can be a critical component of an exchange’s communications plan, but also requires an understanding of some of the most effective ways of using them. This slide deck, prepared by GMMB, provides an overview of several social media channels, as well as key insights and tips for making sure that exchanges are utilizing them as effectively as possible.

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Date Created: Oct 14, 2015
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While millions of Americans have newly gained health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is evidence that coverage alone does not necessarily translate into access to health care. This memo, prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), provides background information on health insurance literacy, summarizes the research around current consumer knowledge, and offers recommendations for marketplaces on how to build on it. Additionally, the State Network has compiled a library of health insurance literacy materials developed by four marketplaces.

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Date Created: Sep 22, 2015
Document Type

Health insurance brokers can play a unique role in helping all forms of marketplaces to reach out to uninsured households and assist residents with new enrollments, as well as coverage renewals. Recently, several marketplaces implemented pilot programs intended to leverage the resources of agencies that are particularly interested in building their direct enrollment business under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The success of these initiatives is demonstrated by these marketplaces’ plans to expand their efforts for the upcoming open enrollment period.

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Date Created: May 21, 2015
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The State Network hosted its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on April 29 – May 1, 2015, bringing together state officials and technical experts to provide technical assistance and discuss lessons learned on continuing implementation of the coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Annual Meeting included peer-to-peer sharing between stakeholders from exchanges, Medicaid agencies, departments of insurance, and governors’ offices throughout the topic specific breakouts on key ACA implementation issues.

Date Created: May 2, 2015
Document Type

As those interested in conducting surveys to measure the public’s participation and experience in health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to investigate the most effective ways of doing so, access to questions utilized in previously conducted surveys will be very useful.

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Date Created: Sep 25, 2014
Document Type

With the recent conclusion of the initial open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, opportunities now exist to examine the experiences and successes of several state-based marketplaces in order to evaluate how they reached consumers and enrolled them in Qualified Health Plans

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Date Created: Aug 15, 2014