Rhode Island, though a small state, is known for its big ideas about how to provide health care to its citizens. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, Rhode Island took on the decision to create a State Health Care Exchange with its usual vigor and vision. It wanted to create a consumer-friendly face and to have supplemental services that would enhance revenue generation to sustain the operating costs of the exchange over time, anticipating federal reductions in funding at some point. Because of Songmasters’ expertise in integrated marketing and brand communications, Songmasters was brought in to develop the consumer services platform, while other consultants focused on other technical aspects of implementing the exchange. Driving the timeline was the ever-present launch deadline set by the federal government.
Working closely with leaders of the State Exchange and with members of the planning leadership team, Songmasters was able to develop a comprehensive plan for a first-ever consumer services platform for any ACA-based state health care exchange. The platform met three goals important to Rhode Island:
- Providing Rhode Islanders with a comprehensive suite of services and resources beyond insurance that promotes their health and wellness; empowers their ability to navigate the world of healthcare; and incentivizes their enrollment and participation in the Exchange
- Promoting local economic development and generating potential cost-offsets for the Exchange through a private/public alliances model
- Catalyzing support for and trust in the Exchange as a valued resource “by RI’ers for RI’ers” that provides useful tools, benefits, information and services organized along a continuum of healthcare needs
Songmasters developed an eight-component program of services that was designed to be easy to use, easy to navigate and have an entertaining rather than a strictly research feel to engage consumers in wanting to better their health and to become informed health and wellness consumers for themselves and their families. These features are integrated into the overall design and execution of the platform, Health Source RI, making it the first state exchange to have a non-insurance driven consumer-facing platform.
To supplement this initiative, Songmasters also developed S’Well®, working as a forum to discuss women’s health and well-being as an ongoing initiative.