What You Need to Know
- The researchers based the study on people who had applied for coverage through Covered California but had not selected a plan.
- Live service center reps made the calls.
- Prospect age and language preference had a big effect on how well telemarketing worked.
Researchers have published a scientific paper showing that telemarketing can boost a health insurance enrollment website’s sales.
Rebecca Myerson, a population health sciences researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently led a team that measured the impact of telemarketing on the health insurance sales conversion rate at Covered California — California’s Affordable Care Act public exchange program, or web-based health insurance supermarket for health insurance
Myerson’s team conducting the study by Covered California’s efforts to handle what amounted to highly qualified web leads: people who had applied for 2019 health coverage through Covered California in 2018 but who had not actually selected plans.
Covered California had live-human service center reps call 27,123 of those households and assigned another 24,003 households that had applied for coverage but not selected plans in a control group, according to the Myerson’s team paper, which appeared in Health Affairs, an academic journal.
The outbound calls increased the overall odds that a household would get covered to 14.7%, from 12% for the control group.
But the researchers found that the impact of telemarketing was much bigger for lower-income prospects, older prospects and those who preferred to speak Spanish.
Telemarketing had the biggest effect on health insurance plan selection rates for prospects with household income below 150% of the federal poverty level.
Personalized calls increased their signup rate to 12.4%, from 8.4%.