Five Ways Increasing Multicultural Enrollment Helps the Economy

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer and Troy Pritchard, Junior Executive- San Jose Group College campuses around the country often house the most multicultural and diverse communities in the U.S. As summer comes to a close, colleges nationwide have begun welcoming students back to campuses for the fall semester, now more diverse than ever as multicultural enrollment continues to steadily increase. During the 1980s, when marketers first realized the emerging multicultural market, Latino education grew by 60.7% according to Manuel Zamarripa’s “Education.” Last year, Hispanic high school graduate’s fall semester college enrollment was a record-high 69%, while non-Hispanic whites’ enrollment dropped to 67%, reports a 2012 Pew Research Center analysis. As young multicultural adults plan to earn college degrees, their lives as well as the economy will see vast improvements. Here are five ways increasing multicultural enrollment can help the economy. 1. Increased spending power Americans with bachelor’s degrees make 84% more over a lifetime than high school graduates, reports a recent Georgetown University study. On average, a college graduate will earn $2.3 million over a lifetime compared to high school graduate’s $1.3 million. Multicultural college enrollment means higher earning potential, making them powerful consumer markets. Some companies have already started marketing towards different multicultural markets in pursuit of their increasing spending power (Hispanics will have a $1.5 trillion spending power by 2015). 2. Dynamic consumers Healthy economies depend on active consumers. Educated consumer bases not increase the per capita earning, but consumers begin to spend their money in different sectors of the GDP including housing, insurance, automotive, retail, education and entertainment. As multicultural dollars stimulate different sectors of the GDP with their increasing spending power, the economy strengthens. 3. Increased need for technological devices The Unite States, home of “the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world” according to the CIA’s World Fact Book, depends on the technology industry to help drive a strong economy. In 2008, the information and communication technology expenditure in the U.S. accounted for 7.36% of...

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Comparing State-Run and Federal-Run Exchanges

By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights with the support of Nicha Ruchirawat, Junior Executive As the deadline for implementing health insurance exchanges approaches, nearly half the states in the Union have declared to participate in federal-run exchanges (FFE), while the remaining will establish state-run exchanges either independently or in partnership with the federal government. Three key differences between state-run and federal-run exchanges that may have a significant impact on the multicultural population are: 1. FFEs make it easier for lower-income people with income fluctuations over the course of the year to oscillate between Medicaid/CHIP coverage and private individual insurance by requiring that plans from these programs offer similar benefits and provider networks. 2. In those states where the local government resisted Medicaid expansion, FFEs will allow eligible individuals to purchase insurance coverage through the exchange with federal subsidies. 3. As states determine their own key regulations, the federal government needs to know each state’s unique laws and policies to run the FFE and to select qualified health plans that may participate. This makes it harder for FFEs to provide consumer assistance because this requires more effort and resources in order to produce knowledgeable navigators to support the local exchanges, which depends on availability of training grant funds. “Over 10 million people from the multicultural segment will be eligible for individual insurance through the Health Exchanges,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “This makes it essential to realize that enrollees of multicultural origin will be a huge part of participants in either FFE or State-Exchanges, as well as beneficiaries from Medicaid...

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Federal Health Exchange for ACA Reluctant States and the Multicultural Population

By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights Perhaps not many people in the country have had the opportunity or the interest to recognize that, for the good and for the bad, the Obamacare reform implicates a structural, break-through change in the country’s health system. Additionally, as the implementation of the reform is on its way despite the many controversies and reluctances, our country is developing a health care model that has no known precedent in the world. In fact, America is pioneering a new health system, and being a pioneer is always difficult. As challenges to the ACA emerge, so do solutions including the Federally Facilitated Exchange (FFE). Basically, FFE is a health-insurance marketplace established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where uninsured people living in states that will not set up their own Exchange can buy their individual insurance policies within the same concept of the state-established exchanges. General ACA regulations will apply to the FFE; although they will in proper alignment with specific state laws. Multicultural population coverage within the FFE will likely be significant. Currently, several of the 25 states that are not going to establish a Health Insurance Exchange and would consequently participate in the FEE are also some of the states with greater multicultural populations, particularly of Hispanic origin, including Texas and Florida. “At least 42% of the Health Exchanges enrollees will be multicultural,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “The FEE, as much as the state Exchanges should address the specific needs of these multicultural consumers, including in-language information, culturally appropriate navigator systems and supporting tools and materials for the appropriate health-literacy levels.” Source: How will Health Insurance Exchanges Reach Our Nation’s Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities? Texas health Institute, Policy Brief No.1, May...

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Will Reluctant States End Up Embracing the Health Reform?

By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights Likely, everybody in the country has heard something about the fierce battle that surrounded health care reform. Lawsuits, Supreme Court appeals, federal funding rejections and prohibiting implementation via state laws of one or several of the ACA components were highly visible happenings repeatedly seen since the signing of the law, in March, 2010. As the deadline to execute one of the most comprehensive components of the ACA in terms of the size of the population to be covered —the state’s Health Exchanges should be up to speed for enroll on October 1, 2013— a main discussion point remains unclear: would the ACA implementation ever be general across the entire country? An aspect to keep in mind when attempting to provide an answer is that the ACA is a multiple-component law where some components do not have deadlines or are subjected to federal-based execution instead of state-based. Four basic ACA components are Medicare, Small Business Exchanges, Individual Insurance Health Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion. The Federal government started implementing the ACA Medicare component, which focuses on closing the Medicare Part D donut hole by 2015, through important reductions of the cost of drugs to Medicare beneficiaries or rebates. The Small Business Exchanges deadline, which is to be implemented by each state, was recently postponed throughout 2015. The Medicaid Expansion, another state-based component, has been rejected in only 4 states, while the remaining are either considering their decision or moving forward within early implementation stages. The State Individual Exchanges remain a highly visible state-based component that has been rejected by an important number of states. As of May 28, 2013, 24 states including Washington D.C. are moving forward with setting up their exchanges either independently or through various forms of partnerships with the federal government level, while 27 states remain opposed to the reform and consequently their population qualifying for individual insurance will need to enroll through a sort of federally run macro-exchange. Nobody can solidly predict whether...

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TV and Digital Communications in the Era of Health Insurance Branding

By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights With the support of Nicha Ruchirawat, Junior Executive At a moment when U.S. health insurance companies must have already realized that the Obamacare reform imposes serious marketing efforts from their part to effectively engage health insurance audiences, a key question is what could be the two most effective media channels to communicate their brand messages to new, prospective health insurance enrollees. As an estimated 42% of the currently uninsured who are eligible for individual health care exchanges are from the multicultural segment, understanding their media consumption patterns seems critical. TV is one important channel to keep in mind. According to Nielsen’s report on “The State of the African-American Consumer,” and “The Hispanic Market Imperative,” African Americans and Hispanics spend 213 hours per month and 126 hours per month watching TV, respectively. Additionally, “on the go” communication channels are going to play a highly effective role. In fact, research shows that 33% African Americans and 60% Hispanics households own Smartphones. They tend to use their mobile phones for emailing, accessing internet, social networking and downloading media. “Multicultural advertisements calls for sensitivities to the differences in media consumption behaviors among different cultural groups,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “For health insurance companies, aligning media consumption behavior with marketing campaigns is the key to targeting the multicultural audience and wining consumers most affected by the healthcare reform.” The differences in behaviors and trends between the cultural groups and the general market need to be taken into account. Following media trends within the multicultural segment is essential for health insurance brands to reach out to their potential new customers arising from the health...

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The Importance of Health Insurance Branding in the ACA Era Part 2

By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights with the support of Nicha Ruchirawat, Junior Executive Employers are not going to be health insurance companies’ main targets anymore for marketing and communications platforms. State health exchanges will provide consumers with freedom to independently browse the health plans that best fit their needs. This shifts the decision-making power regarding health insurance purchases into the hands of individual consumers. Thus, to remain competitive, branding efforts of health insurance companies should become more consumer-centric. Many health insurance companies are redefining their brands’ strategies to appeal to these individual consumers in order to retain market share. “The shift from employer-focused branding to consumer-centric approach is only a small component in health insurers’ efforts to remain competitive,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “The more important aspect is ensuring communications that target the right segment. The majority of the uninsured comes from the multicultural segment. About 43% of the uninsured affected most directly say they are unaware of the reform. Therefore, it is essential to reach out to these consumers.” Health-related companies can expect changes in insurer’s brand efforts to effectively engage individuals trough traditional and digital media channels. Health insurance companies are running out of time to gain the preference of insurance individual shoppers based on brand recognition, loyalty, and emotional...

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