Leveraging Local Media to Create Awareness and Drive Enrollment
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Leveraging Local Media to Create Awareness and Drive Enrollment

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November 12, 2009

Gateway to Care (GTC), based in Houston, Texas, was working on increasing enrollment in the Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low Income Subsidy (LIS). But with a large metropolitan population to reach, they knew that they had to identify a cost effective way to get the word out about the benefit and the application assistance that they provided. A local TV interview with a compelling human interest story proved to be just what they needed to get their phones “ringing off the hook.”

Who was the target audience?

People with Medicare who were potentially eligible for the LIS.

What did they do?

To promote the LIS, GTC utilized traditional methods of outreach such as flyers, events and advertising. Because of a limited advertising budget, they knew that they would have to rely on earned media (news stories, interviews and the like) instead of unearned media (paid advertising). So they decided to contact local broadcast TV stations in the greater Houston area and let them know about their LIS outreach and enrollment campaign.

But GTC did not stop there! They went a step further and identified a client who had received the benefit and was willing to share her story of how it improved her life. GTC was excited when one of the local TV stations followed up with them and asked if they would be interested in doing a short interview segment for the local news that featured their client’s story. In preparation for the increased call volume that would likely result from the TV interview, GTC made sure that their staff was trained and ready to field calls when the TV spot was aired.

What was the result?

During the month following the airing of the interview, Gateway to Care experienced over an 80% increase in the number of Extra Help/LIS applications completed and submitted. As a direct result of this interview, over 200 beneficiaries received the Extra Help/LIS. By being able to identify a client who realized significant savings from the benefit and who was willing to encourage others to see if they might also be eligible, GTC helped their target population to see the value of the benefit and motivated them to take quick action!

For more information

Ron Cookston
Gateway to Care
3611 Ennis
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 783-4616
Ron.cookston@gatewaytocare.org

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