Carter said the outreach effort is essential because many Mississippi residents have never had health insurance before. "A lot of these people have never used the system before," she said.
One of Humana's buses
In Mississippi, Buses Campaign for Enrollment
A unique element of Humana's Mississippi Education Initiative is a pair of Internet-equipped buses that have logged more than 10,000 miles since October crisscrossing the state. The buses have visited rural areas and they have set up at a variety of locations, from churches and libraries to Walmart stores. "These vehicles are being used to reach people in their community," Carter told me. "It's helped with Humana's brand awareness as well. People are getting to know Humana."
Carter said outreach techniques such as the buses are effective because they create an opportunity to have the kind of one-on-one contact that is needed for many residents to navigate the options available to them through the new public exchanges. "You really need to sit down and have a personal conversation with people," she said. "Even though the enrollment deadline is March 31, we're still going out to educate people this summer."
With millions of Americans eligible for affordable healthcare for the first time in their lives, there are millions of reasons for public exchange outreach efforts to continue aggressively.