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SHARE-funded Research: Media Messaging about the Affordable Care ActMay 12, 2017:
On April 13, 2016, Dr. Sarah Gollust and Andrew Wilcock (both of the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health) presented preliminary findings from their SHARE-funded project,“Geographic Variation in Media Messaging about the Affordable Care Act and Associations with Insurance Enrollment,” at a research seminar hosted by the University’s Division of Health Policy and Management.
Based on the knowledge that there was strong local variation in ACA-related media messaging during the launch of the ACA, Dr. Gollust and her research team are using their SHARE grant to evaluate how the volume (i.e., frequency) of local television media messages about the ACA during the first open enrollment period (OEP 1; October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014) affected insurance enrollment behaviors throughout the U.S., as indicated by changes in local insurance coverage from 2013 to 2014.
To conduct this analysis, Dr. Gollust and her colleagues used media data from the Wesleyan Media Project for OEP 1, and data on population characteristics and insurance coverage from the 2013 and 2014 American Community Surveys. Pairing county-level ACS data with media data for the corresponding local media markets, Gollust and her research team found that:
-- There were more insurance advertisements during OEP 1 in areas of high uninsurance.
-- A higher volume of insurance ads during the first ACA open enrollment period in a given media market was associated with a greater decline in uninsurance from 2013 to 2014.
-- There was no relationship between changes in uninsurance and ACA-related political ad volume or other non-advertising media attention (i.e., local news attention).