Health exchange marketing appears ineffective

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Some efforts to market New Mexico’s health insurance exchange appear to have been ineffective.
About 32,000 people in New Mexico had bought insurance on the federal exchange by the March 31 end of the open enrollment period. About 540 employees and their dependents from fewer than 150 companies had purchased insurance through the state exchange.
It’s hard to sell health insurance in any case, but efforts to enroll New Mexicans began much later than insurance-exchange officials planned.
Funds available for marketing went unspent, partly because of the marketing effort’s late start and partly because it wasn’t clear what the best use of the funds would be. New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Board Chairman J.R. Damron told the Albuquerque Journal that the board didn’t have time before enrollment began to do the market research necessary to guide marketing efforts. “We had enough money, but we didn’t have time to do the surveys and the proactive stuff that states like California and New York could,” he said.