Building A Movement

Increasing Insurance Coverage

Issue Background:

Our firm was retained to lead a multifaceted public affairs movement to bring together the collective voices of employers, providers and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to advocate for better access to comprehensive smoking cessation insurance coverage for Pennsylvanians.

Strategic Approach:

We established a network of dozens of CBO’s, providers, KOL’s and employers to collectively engage in consumer outreach, healthcare quality engagement, legislative advocacy, and editorial and earned media to make a meaningful impact on insurance coverage. The group employed joint tactics such as:

• A statewide public opinion poll that demonstrated overwhelming support for comprehensive coverage across Pennsylvanians;

• An economic study conducted by Penn State University showing that the Commonwealth and its employers could save money through comprehensive smoking cessation benefits;

• A health care provider petition signed by more than 600 practitioners;

• A press conference with state officials and 45 organizations advocating for master settlement funds to be dedicated to cessation funding;

• Working with the state’s professional firefighters’ union to announce its statewide initiative to encourage its members to go smoke-free;

• Assisting a statewide provider organization in developing professional protocols around smoking cessation interventions with patients;

• Creating and distributing a smoking cessation toolkit for stakeholders;

• Creating a white paper for state candidates on public policy opportunities around smoking cessation.

Results:

• Coverage among private payers increased significantly across the Commonwealth during the span of this project.

• The network successfully fought back a proposed Medicaid prior authorization through a sustained and committed advocacy effort.

• Today, the client continues to hold this public affairs movement in high regard and to invest in efforts to convince insurers that comprehensive smoking cessation coverage should be routinely included in standard health benefits.