Sunday, August 4, 2013

Advertising and the Affordable Care Act

A key to affordable health care is that everyone obtain health care insurance.

However, not everyone in the United States understands this responsibility, nor are people sufficiently aware of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help them meet their health care needs. Indeed, surveys show substantial public confusion concerning the nature and status of the ACA.

In April of 2013, a nation-wide survey of adults by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that about 50 percent say they do not have enough information about this new law to understand how it will impact their own families.

Importantly, over 40 percent say they are either unaware or confused about the status of the ACA.

The sources and voices of public information on the ACA are diverse, confusing, and sometimes even intentionally counterproductive. So these recent survey results should not be surprising.

To strategic communication professionals, this is what is known as "a problem advertising can solve."

As paid messaging on behalf of organizations and brands, advertising can help overcome a lack of awareness, understanding, and acceptance of products and programs.

The 17 states now initiating health insurance exchanges are aware of how advertising can help the public make more informed choices. For example, this summer the state of Connecticut began investing in a $6 million advertising and promotional campaign for its health insurance exchange - Access Health Connecticut.

California - one of the larger and more populous states - is investing in an $86 million campaign called Covered California.

This underscores the importance of advertising as an essential institution promoting progress. The purpose of advertising is to help make things happen faster in the economy and society so as to help people lead richer, fuller and  - in this case - more healthful lives.

   Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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