Affordable Care Act

Connecting with consumers in the Affordable Care Act world


The passage on March 23, 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (aka Affordable Care Act, ACA, Obamacare) created a paradigm shift in the U.S. health insurance industry. With new provisions and the end of pre-existing condition exclusions, insurance companies were faced with a host of changes — from back-end operations to front-line sales. Health Net of California brought in PKC to re-engineer its communications approach.


The complexity of the ACA required in-depth research to interpret the regulations, and then translate them in ways that made sense to Health Net’s varied audiences — individual consumers, current members, employer groups, and brokers. Studio PKC handled the internal employee education, broker training (including curriculum similar to that provided to Covered California’s certified enrollment counselors), and all consumer touch-points.

We knew that many prospective buyers would be new to health insurance and need support navigating their options. Others would be newly eligible for the premium tax credits and/or cost-sharing reductions. So we replaced a 60-page tome of plan choices and regulatory language with a short, easy-to read guide in which we swapped heavy, high-grade-level text with real-life examples and infographics. We used plain and simple language to explain the individual mandate, the metal tiers, and when it was better to buy “enhanced silver” than a bronze plan. Real-life examples paired with infographics The fine print was relegated to a separate insert.

Similar information was served up online via Road to Reform microsites — one each for consumers, employers, and brokers.


Health Net garnered the highest percentage consumers buying insurance through Covered California in the first year of the exchange. Based on the growth, the company discovered new pain points, and turned to studio PKC for assistance in crisis communications, customer experience strategy, and empathy training.

Our deep immersion in the ACA has influenced and informed dozens of studio PKC projects — and client successes — since 2013.

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