Health Reform Monitoring Survey – Texas, Issue Brief #9: Preparing for the Second Marketplace Enrollment period in Texas
This issue brief focuses on the lessons learned during the first Marketplace open enrollment period in order to prepare for the second enrollment period that begins next month. This second open enrollment period is shorter than the first- only 15, 2015. The health insurance Marketplace is the official source for people to get information about and enroll in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The mechanisms the ACA has put in place to connect people with the Marketplace are the ACA website, healthcare.gov; the toll free call center, 1-800-318-2596; and individual assisters such as navigators, non-navigator assistance personnel, and certified application counselors, who are trained and employed by local organizations. There are also various other informal ways a person can learn about the Marketplace, but ultimately enrollment is accomplished through healthcare.gov. Texas data from the June 2014 Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) tell us which Marketplace resources people utilized the most, which methods were easiest, and where improvements can be made. We provide this data to inform those engaged in enrollment activities so that they will understand what Texans found most helpful and where improvements are needed. As the data show, some enrollment methods were widely utilized and perceived as very helpful. As we move into the second open enrollment period, each available method will need to be at peak performance to facilitate the enrollment of the hundreds of thousands of Texans who are eligible for subsidized plans but remain uninsured.