Kaiser opens retail stores to boost enrollment


Kaiser Permanente is turning to the retail front to help sell plans on and off California's health insurance exchange and to help inform the public about its coverage options now that so many new consumers will be shopping for coverage for the first time.

The insurer already has opened several ShopKP stores in shopping centers throughout California, including Sacramento, San Jose and Fresno, that provide information about its plans, reported the Sacramento Business Journal.

"We need to get the word out now, during open enrollment," Trish Rodriguez, Kaiser's south Sacramento area manager, told the Business Journal. "The Affordable Care Act offers affordable health insurance, but it's important for consumers to know their options and how to enroll."

Kaiser opened its stores in California cities with high numbers of uninsured residents. It also is launching an advertising campaign alongside the stores with ads on English and Spanish radio stations.

While Kaiser is making its first foray into the retail side of insurance, the market has been heating up rapidly in the last several months. UnitedHealth, for example, already has established a strong retail strategy with several brick-and-mortar retail facilities, Tom Paul, UnitedHealth's chief consumer officer, previously told FierceHealthPayer. The key to UnitedHealth's success, he added, is careful site selections, including first determining whether the retail stores fit within the "lifestyle of the consumer."

To learn more:
- read the Sacramento Business Journal article

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