A tale of two states: Engagement and Exchange enrollment

As state-by-state Exchange enrollment numbers roll in, we couldn’t help but indulge in some just-for-fun analytics – which as it turns out, has practical implications for our clients looking to succeed in the Exchange market.

We mashed up data from Eliza Corporation’s proprietary Eliza Engagement Index™ (EEI)– which is indicative of how likely a population is to make key health-related behaviors such as registering on a health plan’s web site or getting a  recommended preventive screening – with HHS’s state-by-state enrollment rates and public ad spending data. Here’s some of what we found:

  • Saturating the market doesn’t guarantee results: Certain states – such as Kentucky and Oregon – were notable for their significant, sustained media spend before and after the Open Enrollment period, yet the impact of their spend differed dramatically.  While Kentucky was in the top-ten states with the highest percentage of Exchange enrollment, Oregon fared far worse – at the bottom of the mid-range.
  • Today’s engagement levels will impact future health outcomes:  Kentucky’s high-touch efforts – including using personal relationships to “meet people where they are” with an enrollment message – seems to have a halo effect on health engagementbased on our EEI analysis, the state’s population showed a (significant) 6% shift from “low” to “medium” engagement after the open enrollment period. This shift means an increase in the number of people who are now more likely to be actively engaged in their health, and suggests better future health outcomes for the state (based on current health rankings, Kentucky is among the lowest in the nation). Meanwhile, Oregon showed a 7% shift from “medium” to “low” engagement in its population, which may put the state’s current relatively high health ranking in jeopardy.
  • Consumer experience matters: Kentucky’s efforts around the Exchanges have been lauded by the experts, and this is reflected in the success of their enrollment rate, which is beating the national average. Meanwhile, as of February 2014, Oregon had just gotten its website up and running, and it wasn’t even fully open to the public.

EEI and Enrollment So what are the implications of these findings?

  • It pays to be smart about your targeting strategies: A data asset like our Eliza Engagement Index helps identify which members are most likely to act in desired health and benefits related ways, and those who might just need a nudge. Insight like this lets organizations wisely allocate spending and resources, based on population-level engagement rates. 
  • Sustaining today’s high health engagement levels is key to improving future health outcomes: With a data asset like the EEI acting as a barometer of consumer health behaviors, it’s possible to identify potential shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors before they happen.  These insights open the door for timely, relevant outreach that will impact outcomes. 
  • Build a positive member experience: Consumer health engagement indices like the EEI are influenced by every interaction a person has with a healthcare brand, from the customer service they receive, to the web site they use, to the programs and benefits in which they participate, to the preventive outreach reminders they receive. Consistent, consumer-centric health messaging is key.

Of course, all of these implications play to Eliza’s sweet spot – designing engagement strategies that drive behavior. We love talking about this stuff – learn more here.


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