By Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A survey commissioned by New Mexico’s health insurance exchange has found that a campaign to publicize the online marketplace for buying coverage under the federal health care law is having little success so far.

The survey of 501 uninsured adult New Mexicans found that three of every five didn’t even know what an insurance exchange is, the Albuquerque Journal ( ) reported.

The survey also found that respondents had little memory of television advertising to encourage visits to the exchange’s website and that few had heard of live events where insurance shoppers could consult exchange representatives.

The exchange awarded a Milwaukee advertising and marketing firm, BVK, an $8.4 million contract last September and a new $6 million contract in July.

Martin Hickey, chairman of the health exchange board’s marketing committee, said the survey was intended to help the firm better target its work. “As a board member, I would say I would have expected a higher penetration of awareness of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange,” he said.

Hickey blamed some of the marketing difficulties on delays in getting the New Mexico exchange established.

Future marketing efforts need to target the many different customer niches found in New Mexico, including a focus on providing better communications to Spanish-speaking customers, Hickey said.

The latest contract carries “very clear deliverables, milestones and increased scrutiny,” he said.

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