case studies

California Department Of Health Care Services (DHCS) Message Testing

Industry: Healthcare
Market: United States
Demographics: General Market, U.S Hispanic and Asian American

Background: As COVID-era Medicaid benefits come to an end, the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF), in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, wanted to ensure Medi-Cal eligible residents didn’t lose coverage during the “unwinding” period. ThinkNow assisted CHCF in testing the state's outreach messaging and materials aimed at informing members about the transition and helped shape effective messaging.

Solution ThinkNow conducted qualitative research using 15 focus groups and 18 in-depth interviews. The research targeted two segments:

  1. Target 1: California residents representing the Medi-Cal population, including Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Chinese members. This captured insights from key ethnicities and limited- and no-English proficient enrollees.
  2. Target 2: California residents similar to Target 1 but at higher risk of unenrollment. In-depth interviews were used instead of focus groups for discussing sensitive situations. This segment included seniors, people with disabilities, caretakers, and Vietnamese/Cantonese-speaking Chinese cohorts.

Results: The study found low awareness of the public health emergency's impact on Medi-Cal renewals and no knowledge of the unwinding period. Respondents wanted messaging to state the desired action clearly, provide contact information, use eye-catching keywords, and include key dates and consequences of inaction, like losing coverage. Mail was considered the preferred method for communication, but personalized text messages with trustworthy links (.gov preferred) were also considered effective.

Read more about the results of the focus groups ThinkNow conducted.