Pharmacy Assistance Program Outreach Campaign Yields Successful Strategies
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Pharmacy Assistance Program Outreach Campaign Yields Successful Strategies

September 11, 2009

What do you do when you have a generous pharmacy assistance program with low enrollment? Read on to find out how Minnesota more than doubled their enrollment within a six month timeframe!

Who was the target audience?

Individuals with qualifying lower incomes and limited assets that would make them eligible for the Minnesota State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP).

What did they do?

At the end of 1999, almost one year after the Minnesota State Pharmacy Assistance Program's implementation, only 1,932 individuals were enrolled in the program. In order to boost participation in the program, the Department of Human Services and State Unit on Aging launched a seven-month outreach campaign to introduce and market the new program to eligible individuals. The campaign featured promotion of the Senior LinkAge® Line as a vehicle for Medicare Savings Programs and prescription drug program screening.

Promotional activities included:

  • A media campaign that included radio spots in English, Spanish and Hmong; an op-ed by the Governor; and press kits that contained a press release, companion newspaper piece, and Public Service Announcements.
  • Senior LinkAge® Line brochures and outreach materials funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, such as a multicolored posters, tear-off pads that could be stapled to prescriptions, and fliers, magnets, and door/jar grippers with catchy taglines.
  • A mailing of outreach and media materials to partners (pharmacists, family physicians, community health centers, other providers, family members) and an initiative to include fliers in other mailings (e.g. utility bills).

What was the result?

According to the State Unit on Aging, the most effective outreach tools were the radio spots and press kits, which led to widespread media coverage. The pharmacy tear-offs and the jar grippers were also noted as very effective. During the first two months of the campaign, the Senior LinkAge® Line received more than 3,600 calls about the pharmacy assistance program, compared to a few hundred calls per month on that topic prior to the campaign.

From the end of January through June 2000, enrollment in the pharmacy assistance program increased from 2,111 to 4,838.

For more information

K. Glaun, “Medicare Savings Programs to Assist Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries: Working Paper on Medicare Savings Programs in Minnesota.” Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (December 2002). View the full text of this report.


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