The president has recently appeared on Quora, on Ellen, and between two ferns to plug Obamacare. It's working, kind of. Younger people are signing up at a slightly faster pace, though the Obama administration is still desperate to recruit Millennials and other healthy people in large numbers.
But perhaps funny videos aren’t the best bait for something as unsexy, yet totally necessary, as health insurance. In fact, insurance is one of those dreary, procrastination-inducing things, like 401ks and organ donation, that’s just begging for some kind of nudgy solution. The kind that would maybe later appear on a Freakonomics episode, beginning with some guy seeing a scary flier about “deadlines” and ending with him getting his appendix removed for just a small co-pay.
The trouble is, scare tactics don't always work, either.
“It’s challenging to reach these people who have been outside of the health insurance system for so long,” Jennifer Tolbert, director of state health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told me. “Many people don't have experience signing up for health insurance coverage. It's hard to get the message to them in a way that will motivate them to take action.”
With the deadline to sign up for coverage just a few days away, health insurance experts think they’ve figured out some of the best strategies for prodding people to buy something they know little about and somehow don’t really like anyway. Here’s a look at some of them.