The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (NMHIX) reported that 15,012 New Mexicans had enrolled in individual qualified health plans as of February 28, 2014, a 29 percent increase from the 11,620 enrollments confirmed at the end of January 2014. This growth rate mirrors the national rate, which was also 29 percent for the same time span.
Once again, subsidies played a large part in enrollments with 78 percent of the total February enrollments receiving some sort of financial assistance. Medicaid eligible numbers were up as well with a 20,620 applicants deemed eligible in February, in comparison to 17,439 in January 2014.
Of those that enrolled, 56 percent were female and 44 percent were male. The 55-64 age range represented the largest number of enrollments with 36 percent, followed by 45-54 with 23 percent and 18-34 (Young Invincibles) with 20 percent.
The levels of the plans being selected was trending upward again for the second consecutive month, with 61 percent of enrollees selecting the Silver Plan. The breakout for remaining plan selections in February was 21 percent for the Bronze Plan, 17 percent for the Gold Plan and 1 percent for the Platinum Plan.
“With the campaign’s intensified direct response marketing advertising effort launching in late January and new Young Invincibles campaign, we are seeing optimistic results from the performance measures that we can monitor on a daily basis, such as record breaking call center volume, growing numbers of new visitors to our website daily, and increase in applications,” said Mike Nuñez, interim CEO. “We are continuing to look for ways to convert these inquiries into enrollments before the March 31 deadline and have learned a lot over the past few months about how to reach those who can most benefit from the Exchange as well as how to equip those best able to help them enroll.”
NMHIX is also launching several new ways to connect with the audience in the most convenient way possible and break through the media clutter. This includes the NM Care Compare tool which allows anonymous shopping, plan comparison and subsidy calculation for individuals through BeWellNM.com.
In addition, they are using humor to reach a younger audience in the “Accidental Spokesman” campaign and being one of the first states to launch a text campaign to offer a new, low-pressure way for residents to get information specific to their income and household size whenever and wherever is most convenience to them. They are also increasing their Spanish-language advertising featuring the band Los Lonely Boys.
Additionally, the team continues to connect with community groups, colleges and universities and enlist additional brokers, agents and health care guides in an effort to gear-up and increase capacity for enrollments as the first open enrollment deadline of March 31, 2014 nears.
“We truly believe in what we are doing, because we witness the positive effects it is having on people every day,” said Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer. “We have touched almost every New Mexican several times with our campaign whether it be through advertisement, media, social media or outreach. We have an incredibly important few weeks ahead of us, but we remain committed to doing whatever we can to communicate the importance of healthcare coverage to residents and encourage them to enroll.”