Outreach begins with understanding the target population, communicating the availability of health care coverage, and educating potential beneficiaries about the program eligibility requirements and how to sign up. States have implemented a variety of approaches and some states have used multidimensional outreach campaigns that combine printed materials, radio and television advertisements. Programs often distribute brochures at schools, churches, hospitals, clinics, businesses, government agencies, and other community sites.
School-based enrollment strategies have been implemented in Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and Tennessee (See Table 15).
- Colorado considers the "back to school enrollment program" their best outreach vehicle. The Child Health Plan operates under the philosophy that people may need to be exposed to the program three times before they react. Hence, the back to school program attempts to outreach to potential enrollees three times in close succession via television, radio, and written advertisements. In 1996, over 210,000 pamphlets were distributed to 848 Colorado schools in 42 counties.
- All Florida school children receive a uniform Healthy Kids brochure introducing them to the program, and Healthy Kids posters are displayed in schools.These materials stress the importance of scheduling regular preventive physician visits while enhancing recognition of the Healthy Kids program.
- In Massachusetts, informational letters are sent home with approximately 200,000 school children in 120 school districts. This effort has been successful in particularly for enrolling adolescents in the Children’s Medical Security Plan.
- In Tennessee, a consumer group assists the TennCare program with their outreach efforts. Fliers are distributed to every school and day care center in the state in order for children to take them home to their parents. This has proven to be an inexpensive and effective form of marketing for TennCare.
Table 15: Outreach and Marketing Methods