Once ACA opponents, insurers move to embrace the law

Insurance giants donate to ACA education campaign

Insurance giants that once fought the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have changed their stance and lent their support to pro-ACA groups, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Several major insurers—as well as various consumer organizations—are contributing to Enroll America. The not-for-profit organization plans to launch a $100 million, national campaign to educate uninsured U.S. residents about ACA benefits through social media, advertising, and events, according to Ron Pollack, the group's chair. The campaign aims to reach the estimated 43 million uninsured who are expected to obtain health coverage under the ACA and help offset the law's costs to insurers.

So far, Enroll America has raised about $6 million with donations from insurance companies such as the BlueCross BlueShield Association, Aetna, and Kaiser Permanente, according to Rachel Klein, the group's executive director.

Although the $6 million donated to Enroll America is significantly less than the $86.2 million that insurers donated to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009, it represents a "pivot" for the industry, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Enroll America also has received donations from non-insurer groups, including the American Hospital Association and The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

"This is a mountain of a task," Klein says, adding that Enroll America will collaborate with HHS and states planning their own publicity efforts.

"It's going to be hard to overestimate what needs to be done in order to reach all of these folks and get as many of them covered as possible in a very short turnaround," Klein says (Wayne, Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/29).

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