Health assessment and digital signage advertising kiosks added another feature to their first-aid kit earlier this month.
As open enrollment begin in the controversial Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace — despite a contentious government shutdown — many people still were unclear on details about how to sign up for what is popularly known as "Obamacare."
That's a fogginess that Atanta-based SoloHealth hopes to help clear with its eponymous health and wellness kiosks.
According to a study released during the recent Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., 64 percent of consumers polled on SoloHealth kiosk stations admitted to having "no" or only "a little bit" of knowledge about the health care insurance marketplaces.
Additionally, 56 percent of consumers surveyed said they did not know before taking the survey that they might qualify for government subsidies to help pay for insurance.
The survey also found that almost 60 percent of respondents who have insurance "don't know" how the law will affect them; 53 percent of those who do not have insurance "don't know" how it will affect them, either.
With its still-expanding national footprint at grocery and big-box retail locations, SoloHealth has secured a string of partnerships that it hopes will uniquely position its digital signage-enabled kiosks to become accessible information hubs for confused consumers.
Last month SoloHealth announced a partnership with the Department of Health & Human Services to help promote awareness and information around the new insurance exchanges and Healthcare.gov.
"Champion organizations like SoloHealth are already serving people and are a trusted source of information in communities across the county," said Julie Bataille, director of communications for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, in an announcement of the partnership. "These organizations are natural places for people to learn about the marketplace, and we want to make sure that [organizations] have access to the tools and information to respond to people who want to sign up and enroll for coverage on Oct. 1."
In an announcement during Health 2.0, SoloHealth revealed yet another strategic partner with a foothold in the private sector: EHealth Inc., the parent company of eHealthInsurance, will make its plan selection and comparison tools available on SoloHealth kiosks in selected geographies.
"The idea behind these partnerships is to link potential buyers with plans to help consumers make the appropriate decision for their insurance needs," said Bart Foster, CEO of SoloHealth.
Foster said that the kiosks have garnered strong engagement and interaction rates since launching the ACA education module.
"That quickly became our highest-used non-biometric assessment," he said. "We project that over 25,000 of our daily users will view the ACA educational content."
Bill Shaughnessy, president and COO of eHealth, said the kiosks show promise in their ability to engage with consumers in a contextually relevant manner, when health care is top of mind.
"The Affordable Care Act is expected to expand health insurance access to more Americans, and consumers need to have simple and effective tools to better understand their options and enroll in the individual, family and Medicare plans that best meet their needs," Shaughnessy said.
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