Idaho chooses Gallatin to promote exchange

BOISE, ID: The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange has hired Gallatin Public Affairs to assist with outreach after a competitive RFP process. Burson-Marsteller and GS Strategy Group are subcontractors on the account.

BOISE, ID: The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange has hired Gallatin Public Affairs to assist with outreach after a competitive RFP process.

Subcontractors on the account are Burson-Marsteller and Boise, ID-based GS Strategy Group. 

The initial scope of work includes statewide market research, website development, and the creation of a communications strategy and educational materials. The firms must also manage media relations and develop the exchange's branding.

The initial contract runs through August 16 and has a budget of $200,000; however, it is likely the state will extend the contract and the scope of work once it begins the implementation phase. It is unclear what the value of the contract would be at that point, said Jody Olson, director of communications and marketing at the exchange.

Olson joined the group running the state's insurance exchange on July 1.

DaviesMoore, Sovrn Creative, and CLM Marketing and Advertising were also in the running for the contract. Gallatin was picked “due to its outstanding depth of regional knowledge,” Olson said.

Idaho estimates that 294,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 19% of its population. Gallatin felt it was capable of reaching out to this group based on the success it has experienced with previous statewide initiatives, said John Kotek, a managing partner at the firm.

Open enrollment in the exchange will begin October 1, which is “one of the challenges we have,” said Susannah Buckley-Green, a manager in Burson's Chicago healthcare practice.

“So we'll be looking to see what's been working in other states to figure out what might be effective in Idaho [in terms of outreach],” she said.

Last week, Illinois' Department of Insurance awarded FleishmanHillard a one-year contract worth up to $35 million to implement a marketing strategy to promote its health insurance marketplace.

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