Assessing the content of television health insurance advertising during three open enrollment periods of the ACA

Colleen L. Barry, Sachini Bandara, Kimberly T. Arnold, Jessie K. Pintor, Laura M. Baum, Jeff Niederdeppe, Pinar Karaca Mandic, Erika Franklin Fowler, Sarah E Gollust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Television advertising has been a primary method for marketing newhealth plans available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to consumers. Data from Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group were used to analyze advertising content during three ACA open enrollment periods (fall 2013 to spring 2016). Few advertisement airings featured people who were elderly, disabled, or receiving care in a medical setting, and over time airings increasingly featured children, young adults, and people exercising. The most common informational messages focused on plan choice and availability of low-cost plans, but messages shifted over open enrollment cycles to emphasize avoidance of tax penalties and availability of financial assistance. Over the three open enrollment periods, there was a sharp decline in explicit mentions of the ACA or Obamacare in advertisements. Overall, television advertisements have increasingly targeted young, healthy consumers, and informational appeals have shifted toward a focus on financial factors in persuading individuals to enroll in marketplace plans. These advertising approaches make sense in the context of pressures to market plans to appeal to a sufficiently large, diverse group. Importantly, dramatic declines over time in explicit mention of the law mean that citizens may fail to understand the connection between the actions of government and the benefits they are receiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-989
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of health politics, policy and law
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Television
Health Insurance
Marketing
Young Adult
Pressure
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Health insurance
  • Local news
  • Media
  • Politics
  • Public opinion

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

Assessing the content of television health insurance advertising during three open enrollment periods of the ACA. / Barry, Colleen L.; Bandara, Sachini; Arnold, Kimberly T.; Pintor, Jessie K.; Baum, Laura M.; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Karaca Mandic, Pinar; Fowler, Erika Franklin; Gollust, Sarah E.

In: Journal of health politics, policy and law, Vol. 43, No. 6, 01.12.2018, p. 961-989.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barry, Colleen L. ; Bandara, Sachini ; Arnold, Kimberly T. ; Pintor, Jessie K. ; Baum, Laura M. ; Niederdeppe, Jeff ; Karaca Mandic, Pinar ; Fowler, Erika Franklin ; Gollust, Sarah E. / Assessing the content of television health insurance advertising during three open enrollment periods of the ACA. In: Journal of health politics, policy and law. 2018 ; Vol. 43, No. 6. pp. 961-989.
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