Jan. 30, 2014

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Aids Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollees with Enrollment Event at Plan Headquarters

Nearly 600 people attend, 100 purchase plans on the spot

BATON ROUGE – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana held a one-day enrollment event at the plan’s headquarters in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Jan. 18, giving Louisiana residents a chance to “Come In. Get Answers. Get Covered.” The event was successful, with nearly 600 total guests who represented 301 encounters attending to get information about healthcare reform and enrolling in plans through the Federal Fallback Marketplace.

Blue Cross planned the event after primary and secondary research indicated many Louisiana residents who qualified to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace wanted to work in person with someone to do so. While people had the option to enroll online, by phone or with an agent, Blue Cross identified a need for in-person enrollment events.

The Jan. 18 event was an opportunity for people to come in with no appointment necessary and no obligation to buy. They were able to get answers to their questions about healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act, and find out what their coverage options are for 2014 and whether they qualify for a subsidy. If they were ready to purchase, they were able to enroll in a plan working with an agent.

To drive attendance, Blue Cross undertook a multi-pronged promotional approach that included sending post cards to residents of the four-parish greater Baton Rouge area (East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes) with incomes at or above the Marketplace qualifying level to let them know about the event, advertising the event through traditional media, mentioning it via social media, working with local faith-based, community and nonprofit groups to display signage for the event and promote it to their stakeholders, and creating a special website for the event, www.bcbsla.com/Jan18.

“While the research and our own anecdotal experiences showed us that people wanted a chance to talk face-to-face about healthcare reform instead of trying to figure it out on their own, this event proved it,” said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana CEO Mike Reitz. “We got so many thankful comments from guests for giving them a chance to talk to someone. The health insurance industry is changing, and we need to be innovative and change our outreach approach with more events like this to continue engaging and attracting new members.”

Thirteen agents worked steadily all day, both in-person and via telephone, to assist with the event. The agents made 103 sales during the event itself, and generated many more leads to follow up on and potentially close within two weeks.

In addition to the agents, more than 50 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employees volunteered their time to assist with the event, including subject matter experts from the healthcare reform section. Miss Louisiana, Jaden Leach, was a celebrity guest at the event to greet guests and encourage them to be healthy. Blue Cross also invited staff from the Louisiana Medicaid program to be present so that if guests realized they or their children qualified for public healthcare coverage, they could enroll for that while at the event, giving the convenience of a one-stop shop.

The event generated more than 1,500 visits to the event webpage (www.bcbsla.com/Jan18), nearly 200,000 social media impressions, and several very positive comments posted to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Facebook page as the event took place.

Based on the success of the first event, Blue Cross is planning to hold at least two more enrollment events before the end of Open Enrollment, March 31, 2014, and will plan to have one of these events in North Louisiana. Additionally, the insurer will plan more in-person opportunities for the 2015 Marketplace enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15.

For more information about the coming changes under the ACA and what the options are for healthcare coverage, shoppers are encouraged to visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana healthcare reform site, www.bcbsla.com/reform.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is governed by a Louisiana Board of Directors.

The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices around the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or visit its social media hub to connect via Facebook, Twitter and more.