Few Americans aware of health insurance exchanges as they prepare to launch October 1


According to a new survey from Xerox, almost two-thirds of Americans are not at all familiar with HIXs, a number that has gone up from 46% in 2012. The finding is significant as state insurance exchanges will go online on October 1, marking the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the new health care reform law.

Xerox has a blog post up breaking down the survey which also shows that public awareness of the health care law, and health insurance marketplaces was on the rise around the Supreme Court ruling over the law last year. Now, as the law is about to come into force without a big media frenzy, that awareness is dropping.

CivSource has previously reported on state government plans to launch media campaigns around their health insurance exchanges, these campaigns will include television and radio ads as well as direct mail. 57% of respondents to the Xerox survey say they’d prefer to hear about the exchange through direct mail, 45% said they’d prefer an email campaign. These responses seem to highlight a broader trend toward online communication, which government has been somewhat slow to adopt.

Health insurance exchanges will also be equipped with customer service agents trained to help individuals navigate basic policy questions and learn how to use the new tool. Xerox is providing this service in several states as is MAXIMUS. Federal health care reform law mandates the use of customer service agents and has also created a separate navigator role designed to help new entrants into the healthcare system find their way through.