Institutionalizing Outreach: A Review of Enroll America's Get Covered Academy Training Program

Publisher: Ann Arbor, MI: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 16, 2016
Authors
Cara Orfield, Amy Mangum, Sheila Hoag, and Sean Orzol

Key Findings:

  • Enroll America offered partner organizations training on a variety of outreach strategies and tools, including writing an outreach plan, using Enroll America’s research-based messaging, implementing the Connector scheduling tool, and building a coalition. Coaches helped partners work through specific issues and provided feedback on progress, although the level of support from and specific role of coaches varied.
  • Respondents identified four tactics learned during the trainings as easiest to implement—messaging, the Connector, commit cards, and outreach plans—because they could easily be integrated seamlessly into existing work flows. Respondents found practices requiring significant investment of time, resources, and attendant work flow changes—the Chase program and, for some, the Connector—more difficult to implement.
  • On average, respondents reported fully implementing 60 percent of the practices on which they were trained; resource constraints and competing priorities limited further implementation.
  • Respondents valued Academy trainings because they focused exclusively on outreach and enrollment, although some thought the in-person trainings could be better customized. A third of respondents reported fully institutionalizing some Enroll America outreach and enrollment strategies and tools, although most acknowledged room for improvement.

To support enrollment of uninsured individuals into coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act, Enroll America—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2010—developed an innovative outreach approach using data-driven, campaign-style methods to identify uninsured individuals and aid their enrollment. Launched in 2013, this effort uses a multitier strategy that includes communications, digital and social media, partnerships with other stakeholders, and extensive field work conducted primarily by volunteers.

Working with partners to institutionalize Enroll America’s methods has been part of Enroll America’s strategies from the beginning, but it prioritized this effort during the third open enrollment period. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others, Enroll America established the Get Covered Academy program in July 2015 to train organizations on its outreach and enrollment campaign practices. The Get Covered Academy is a structured training program focused on equipping partner organizations with the skills, knowledge, and tools to implement and institutionalize outreach and enrollment efforts. During the third open enrollment period, 166 partner organizations received training through the Academy.

This report examines the implementation of Enroll America’s Get Covered Academy training program during the third open enrollment period. Findings describe the training program and follow-up support and assess partners’ ability to implement, use, and institutionalize Enroll America’s strategies and tools. The report was written as part of a larger evaluation of Enroll America funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.