FastCoExist has a great article about Mobile Commons Enroll, our new product that helps educate people about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. Entitled Making Obamacare Work, Using Simple Text Messages, the article explores how Mobile Commons Enroll “is fighting ignorance about Obamacare with a technology that many people use every day: the text message.” The article was written before the ACA’s October 1st launch; however, it’s even more relevant today, as millions of uninsured Americans still struggle to understand the new health insurance system.
Mobile Commons Enroll offers nonprofits and health care organizations a straightforward way to educate the uninsured with a series of easy-to-understand text messages. As FastCoExist says, “What’s the best way to explain to people how to use and benefit from the new law? How about the way we all communicate?”
The article tracks how Mobile Commons Enroll was born out of our cofounder Ben Stein’s epiphany that the people who most need to be educated about health insurance are also the people who send the most text messages:The idea [of combining texting and ACA information] came to Stein this spring, when he came across some striking data. “I started looking at the population who is going to benefit the most from the Affordable Care Act,” says Stein. The demographic groups he pinpointed were young people, minorities, and underserved communities. “I said, ‘I’ve seen these graphs before,’” says Stein. They were the populations most likely to use text messages.
Text messaging, as the article notes, can’t “explain everything” – but it can start to inform people who may be mystified about the law. Text messaging is “a tool to provide the basic facts – the law exists, if you don’t buy insurance you’ll pay a fine, these are the documents you’ll need to buy it, etc.”
Educating people about even the basic facts of health insurance can go a long way toward making sure they can afford the health care they need. A simple text message can start people down the path towards a lifetime of good health.