Report 2013-602 Recommendation 3 Responses

Report 2013-602: New High Risk Entity: Covered California Appears Ready to Operate California's First Statewide Health Insurance Exchange, but Critical Work and Some Concerns Remain (Release Date: July 2013)

Recommendation #3 To: Covered California

To ensure the success of its outreach effort, Covered California should track the effect on enrollment figures of its planned outreach and marketing activities and of its assister program.

Agency Response*

See Auditor's Assessment below.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: February 2016
  • Response Date: February 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

We reviewed Covered California's implementation of this recommendation as part of our February 2016 report titled High Risk-Covered California: It Must Ensure Its Financial Sustainability Moving Forward, and Its Use of Sole-Source Contracts Needs Improvement, Report 2015-605. Based on our review, we assessed Covered California's implementation of this recommendation as fully implemented.


Agency Response*

Covered California will be continuing its efforts as stated in the 1-year response submitted July 11, 2014 and provide additional supporting documents as they become available.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

To evaluate the success of our marketing efforts, weve used a measurement platform consisting of awareness/attitudinal research and marketing analytics.

We conducted a baseline survey in July 2013 and a tracking survey in January 2014, on uninsured and privately insured Californians, to assess brand awareness and consumer receptivity of our program. The survey results indicated that total Covered California awareness increased from 12% to 79%, ad-aware respondents were 50% more likely to have purchased a Covered California plan than those not aware, Covered California campaigns drove people to seek local help from certified agents and enrollment counselors, and the website worked well for 44% but not so well for 29% of respondents.

Marketing analytic tools have been developed to assess campaign performance. Covered California campaign, through broad-reach media outlets, reached more than 80% of our target audience. Our digital advertising, social media, and search engine marketing efforts generated 50% of the traffic directly to coveredca.com between September 2013 and March 2014. Our partnerships with other state agencies, health plan partners, and grantees/stakeholders resulted in 15% referral traffic. Traditional awareness advertising, collateral materials, community outreach, and public relations also led to 35% of the traffic.

The above insights are being factored into our plan for November 2014 Open Enrollment as we continue to optimize our Marketing and Communications efforts.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2015
  • Response Date: July 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented


Agency Response*

To evaluate the success of our marketing efforts, we are using a measurement platform consisting of awareness/attitudinal research and marketing analytics.

A survey was conducted, in July 2013, on uninsured and privately insured Californians to establish a baseline on consumer awareness and purchase intentions prior to open enrollment. The second wave of surveys is being conducted during January 2014, with results available in February enabling us to assess how we've moved the needle in terms of brand awareness and consumer receptivity of our program.

During November and December, we conducted two qualitative surveys, one with a sampling of our Service Center Representatives (SCR) and another with a sampling of our Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC) to gain insights on consumer motivations and customer experience during the enrollment process. Insights and ideas from these surveys have been incorporated into our website, application and service processes as well our advertising campaign and outreach strategies to best help us reach enrollment goals.

Marketing analytic tools have been developed to track key metrics such as campaign awareness, number of website visits, number of fans/friends through social channels, number of calls to the Service Center, response rates, and number of enrollments. Complete analysis of the October-December 2013 campaign will be available in early February 2014. However, preliminary results are being used to optimize the January-March 2014 digital campaign for the millennial segment and to assure enrollment among Latinos.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

Covered California still needs to complete its analysis of the October-December 2013 data, which it indicated will be available in February 2014.


Agency Response*

Covered California's marketing and outreach efforts began in September 2013 in selected cities to drive awareness, allowing us to test and learn before open enrollment begins. During the enrollment period from October 2013 to March 2014, we will bolster marketing activities statewide through various media channels such as TV, radio, print, out-of-home, digital, social media, and other marketing tactics. Our goals are to drive brand awareness, demand for our health plans and ultimately enrollments.

To evaluate the success of our marketing efforts, we are using a measurement platform consisting of two components: awareness/attitudinal research and marketing analytics. A survey was conducted on uninsured and privately insured Californians to provide us with a baseline on consumer awareness and purchase intentions prior to open enrollment. Three additional waves of the surveys will be conducted in 2013 and 2014 to gain more insights about consumer purchase behavior as our program progresses.

Marketing analytic tools are in development to track key metrics such as campaign awareness, number of website visits, number of application downloads, number of fans/friends through social channels, number of calls to the Service Center, response rates, cost per response, and number of enrollments. Weekly and monthly performance reports will be utilized to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the Service Center, website, and marketing campaigns throughout the enrollment period.

Implementation of this measurement platform will provide actionable insights to help optimize the efficacy of the investment and maximize enrollment, enabling affordable, quality health insurance to Californians.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: December 18, 2013
  • Response Date: September 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2013-602

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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