"For every dollar spent, we're going to be smarter, and more targeted, and more effective," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, chief operating officer and chief of staff of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Details of the efforts come less than three weeks before the Nov. 1 start of open enrollment in individual health insurance plans, the kind of coverage that is sold on government-run Obamacare exchanges as well as outside of those marketplaces.
They also come in the face of a wave of news about price increases, often very high ones, facing customers whose health plans are not subsidized — and as advocates try to get more younger, healthier people enrolled in Obamacare plans to financially stabilize the market.
In a report issued Thursday, S&P Global Ratings said that "after two years of successive growth in [Obamacare] marketplace enrollees, 2017 will likely see a significant slowdown in this pace."
"We forecast 2017 [Afffordable Care Act] marketplace enrollment to range between 10.2 million and 11.6 million," which would represent at best 4 percent year-over-year growth, and at worst an 8 percent drop," S&P said.
The report noted that "increased outreach" to uninsured people will add to enrollment. But potential premium increases will lead to drops in the number of customers who don't receive financial aid, the report added.
Josh Peck, chief marketing officer of the federal Obamacare exchange HealthCare.gov, said the outreach that officials hope will boost enrollment would reinforce three messages: The "affordability" of Obamacare plans for many people who are eligible for financial assistance; the deadlines for enrollment; and "the penalties for not getting coverage."
Research from past outreach has shown those messages are the most effective drivers of getting people to sign up, Peck said.
Officials said they will be sending out 10 million pieces of mail targeted to uninsured people and people who have previously expressed interest in getting Obamacare or Medicaid. That's more than 10 times the 800,000 pieces of direct mail the administration sent out in enrollment outreach efforts last year.
For the first time, officials said, HealthCare.gov will be using the social photo-sharing site Instragram to run images and videos explaining how to sign up for health insurance, why people should be doing so and the financial aid that is available to many consumers.
They pointed out that Instagram's users include more than 48 million millennials, the cohort of young adults much desired by insurers for the premium dollars they pay and their relatively low use of health benefits.
The huge social media sites Facebook and YouTube also will be used to carry HealthCare.gov ads, officials said Thursday.
Officials previously revealed that their outreach effort for the first time will also include using the popular social video platform and gamer site Twitch.
"Americans deserve affordable coverage, and we are running a data-driven program to better connect eligible people with health insurance," said Kevin Counihan, CEO of HealthCare.gov, whose marketplace sells coverage in 38 states. The remaining states' residents can buy plans on exchanges run by their individual states.