"Request for Proposals (Rfp)" - Minnesota

Request for Proposals (Rfp) is a legal document that was released by the Minnesota Commerce Department - a government authority operating within Minnesota.

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Health Insurance Exchange Market Research, Branding and Public Relations
Project Overview
Background
Under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted in March of 2010 (Public Law 111-
148 and 111-152), new mechanisms for comparing and obtaining health care coverage are created called Health
Benefit Exchanges (“Exchange”). Exchanges must be operational in each State by January 1, 2014. By January 1,
2013, a State must have taken the necessary steps to have an Exchange operational by January 1, 2014 or the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will establish one on a State’s behalf. An Exchange is an
organized competitive marketplace to facilitate the comparison, choice, and purchase of health care coverage for
individuals and employees of small businesses. Through an Exchange, individuals and employees will have access
to comparable information on costs, benefits, health care providers, quality, and customer satisfaction for an array
of coverage options, and they can use this information to choose and enroll in the health benefit plan that best fits
their personal and family needs. Exchanges will also assist eligible individuals and small businesses to receive
premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions or help individuals enroll in Federal or State health care programs.
By engaging consumers in a one-stop shopping experience with transparent information, Exchanges will make
purchasing health insurance easier and more understandable, put more control and choice in the hands of
individuals and employees of small businesses, and incent greater market competition.
Project Proposals
Minnesota is planning for the public outreach and education components of an Exchange. This Request for
Proposals (RFP) is divided into three parts; market research, branding and public relations. Respondents will
submit proposals for one, two or all three segments. Based upon evaluation criteria, a successful respondent will be
selected for each segment.
Contract awards for respondents evaluated for branding and public relations segments are contingent on receipt of
Federal funding.
Respondent Eligibility
Pursuant to section 1311 of the ACA, a health carrier or an entity that is treated under subsection (a) or (b) of
section 52 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as a member of the same controlled group of corporations (or
under common control with) as a health carrier is not eligible to carry out responsibilities or perform functions
required of an Exchange. Respondents must describe how they are an eligible respondent to this RFP.
Future contract awards for respondents evaluated for branding and public relations segments are contingent on
receipt of Federal funding.
Project Segments
This RFP is seeking market research data that will be used to market the Exchange. This RFP is also seeking
innovative and flexible solutions for branding and communicating the Exchange. Solutions must be flexible to adapt
to changing policies and business rules; fluid enough to respond to modified situations or frameworks as the
Exchange develops; and foster the continuous inclusion of new partnerships that aim to expand the reach of planned
outreach and education initiatives.
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Page 1
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Health Insurance Exchange Market Research, Branding and Public Relations
Project Overview
Background
Under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted in March of 2010 (Public Law 111-
148 and 111-152), new mechanisms for comparing and obtaining health care coverage are created called Health
Benefit Exchanges (“Exchange”). Exchanges must be operational in each State by January 1, 2014. By January 1,
2013, a State must have taken the necessary steps to have an Exchange operational by January 1, 2014 or the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will establish one on a State’s behalf. An Exchange is an
organized competitive marketplace to facilitate the comparison, choice, and purchase of health care coverage for
individuals and employees of small businesses. Through an Exchange, individuals and employees will have access
to comparable information on costs, benefits, health care providers, quality, and customer satisfaction for an array
of coverage options, and they can use this information to choose and enroll in the health benefit plan that best fits
their personal and family needs. Exchanges will also assist eligible individuals and small businesses to receive
premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions or help individuals enroll in Federal or State health care programs.
By engaging consumers in a one-stop shopping experience with transparent information, Exchanges will make
purchasing health insurance easier and more understandable, put more control and choice in the hands of
individuals and employees of small businesses, and incent greater market competition.
Project Proposals
Minnesota is planning for the public outreach and education components of an Exchange. This Request for
Proposals (RFP) is divided into three parts; market research, branding and public relations. Respondents will
submit proposals for one, two or all three segments. Based upon evaluation criteria, a successful respondent will be
selected for each segment.
Contract awards for respondents evaluated for branding and public relations segments are contingent on receipt of
Federal funding.
Respondent Eligibility
Pursuant to section 1311 of the ACA, a health carrier or an entity that is treated under subsection (a) or (b) of
section 52 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as a member of the same controlled group of corporations (or
under common control with) as a health carrier is not eligible to carry out responsibilities or perform functions
required of an Exchange. Respondents must describe how they are an eligible respondent to this RFP.
Future contract awards for respondents evaluated for branding and public relations segments are contingent on
receipt of Federal funding.
Project Segments
This RFP is seeking market research data that will be used to market the Exchange. This RFP is also seeking
innovative and flexible solutions for branding and communicating the Exchange. Solutions must be flexible to adapt
to changing policies and business rules; fluid enough to respond to modified situations or frameworks as the
Exchange develops; and foster the continuous inclusion of new partnerships that aim to expand the reach of planned
outreach and education initiatives.
Rev 10/11
Page 1
Market Research – to better understand the communications, public awareness and engagement strategies that will
be most effective in educating Minnesotans about an Exchange, in-depth market research is necessary. Research
will help inform the components and deliverables for a statewide public awareness campaign.
Branding – to successfully connect with Minnesotans, and to sell the services of the Exchange, it is essential to
create an enduring brand, one that is easily recognizable and strongly desired by the consumer.
Public Relations – to assist in developing a public awareness campaign that will keep the Exchange highly visible
to Minnesotans in the news and throughout the social realm.
Goal
The ultimate goal of this RFP is to obtain detailed cost, work plan and timeline proposals for three marketing
segments that will gather market information, formulate a brand position, and educate the public about the Exchange.
Segments are inter-connected to the extent that they may draw information from another segment’s work results, but
can be performed exclusively by a single vendor. Each segment is deliberately planned to build upon each other
while, at times, occurring simultaneously. The market research segment will commence first, followed by the
branding segment and then the public relations segment. Combined together, the completed work from each segment
will serve as the foundation for building a statewide marketing campaign in 2013 for the Minnesota Health Insurance
Exchange.
Submitted proposals will be evaluated and a respondent will be selected for each segment. Contract awards for
respondents evaluated for branding and public relations segments are contingent on receipt of Federal funding.
Scope of Work
This RFP is seeking individuals or companies that will assist in outreach, communications and marketing for a health
insurance exchange. All respondents must produce detailed cost, a work plan, timeline implementation estimates for
each segment on which they submit a proposal. Respondents may submit proposals for one, two or all three segments.
Responders must be flexible to respond to the changing circumstances of developing a health insurance exchange,
especially in relation to government policies, procedures or legislative changes. Responders are encouraged to
propose additional tasks or activities if they will substantially improve the results of the project. These items should
be separated from the required items on the cost proposal.
Listed below are the three proposal segments.
Segment 1: Market Research
To better understand the communications, public awareness and engagement strategies that will be most effective in
educating Minnesotans about an Exchange, in-depth market research is necessary. Research will help inform the
components and deliverables for a statewide public awareness campaign. The resulting report should further define
the target audiences, propose effective strategies to reach them and outline potential messaging that will capture their
attention.
Because the target audiences will span the entire state and include various subgroups, both qualitative and quantitative
research methods should be utilized, such as:
Statewide consumer survey: conduct a random sample phone survey of 800 people, covering various populations
in both urban and rural communities.
Statewide survey of small employers/businesses: conduct a random sample phone survey of 250 small employers.
Consumer/Business focus groups and key informant interviews: conduct, at minimum, ten focus groups of
consumers, small businesses, community and industry leaders to enhance Minnesota’s understanding of their
perspectives. This component may also include one-on-one key informant interviews as needed to supplement this
qualitative research. Representatives from diverse and underserved communities from rural and urban
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communities across the state must be included in this research.
Questions to be answered are:
• What does the target audience know of a health insurance exchange?
• What does the target audience expect of a health insurance exchange?
• Would the target audience use an exchange? In what circumstances?
• Where and how would the target audience go to find information about the Exchange?
The project will be conducted in phases:
1. Orientation
2. Research Formulation
3. Data Gathering
4. Analysis/Recommendations
Deliverables include:
1. Status Report at the conclusion of Phase Two
2. Status Report at the conclusion of Phase Three
3. Summary Report upon conclusion of Phase Four
In order to reach the anticipated target audience for the Exchange, the contractor will need to fully understand the
existing health insurance distribution system in Minnesota, including the current role of health insurers, agents and
brokers, and entities that assist with Medicaid enrollment. If the contractor cannot demonstrate that they already hold
that understanding, they must make provision for capturing that information during the Orientation phase.
This RFP is seeking an individual or company experienced in conducting research projects of this scope. Contractor
expertise will be needed to further define specific qualitative and quantitative measurements that will result in the
collection of data that helps guide and support subsequent work in branding and developing a public awareness
campaign.
Segment 2: Branding
This RFP seeks an individual or company to help create a brand for the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange that
will successfully connect with Minnesotans and sell the services of the Exchange, and a brand that is easily
recognizable and strongly desired by the consumer.
Specific deliverables include:
Create the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange identity
Establish the brand essence
Construct the brand promise - incorporating core principles and values
Develop a positioning strategy and key messages
Create a logo representation
Create a style guide
The projected audience for the Exchange is threefold: individuals who may or may not qualify for tax credits for the
purchase of health insurance; small businesses who may or may not qualify for tax credits for the purchase of health
insurance; and individuals enrolling in Medical Assistance. The Exchange will serve a broad group of people while
giving each audience sector the same positive experience. Consumers seeking affordable health care coverage will
likely not know which sector they fall within, therefore, it will be critical that the Exchange have a seamless and
coherent message and branding.
Branding of the Exchange will be designed in a manner that shall be effectively used in multiple languages in order to
reach the diverse targeted populations.
The contractor will work closely with the Exchange marketing and communications director, Exchange staff, the
Health Insurance Exchange Outreach, Communications and Marketing Work Group and other stakeholders, including
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foundation and community group partners, in performing their work. We expect the contractor to present a summary
report along with the creative deliverables at the conclusion of the project.
Segment 3: Public Relations
We seek an individual or company to assist in developing a public awareness campaign that will keep the Exchange in
the news and throughout the social realm in a positive manner. The intent is to be proactive in consumer outreach by
communicating the value of the Exchange and providing the necessary information to assist them with making
informed decisions about health insurance and the Exchange.
The campaign will be constructed to include diverse tactics, such as:
• Story placements
• Exhibits
• Social media
• Multimedia
• Town hall meetings
• Online communications
• Webinars
One specific deliverable will be the development of social media strategy and plan for the Exchange. The contractor
may also be asked to develop or create certain media materials to provide and increase public awareness of the
Exchange. Media materials may also include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Op-eds
• Public Service Announcements
• News Releases
• News Articles
Communications will be targeted to multiple audiences; business owners and individuals, including those of diverse
backgrounds and hard-to-reach populations. It is intended that outreach partnerships or ties that have already been
developed with community groups or other stakeholders will be utilized as a part of the public relations campaign.
This RFP is seeking an individual or company experienced in conducting public awareness campaigns on a statewide
basis. Contractor expertise will be needed to provide further recommendations on other types of immediate and near-
term communications and media activities that the Exchange may consider to implement.
The contractor will work closely with the Exchange marketing and communications director, the Department of
Commerce communications director, and the Health Insurance Exchange Outreach, Communications and Marketing
Work Group in performing their work.
General Proposal Information
Contractors will work closely with State and/or Exchange staff. It is possible that contractors will prepare outlines or
rough drafts of certain products, which will be completed by State and/or Exchange staff or other vendors.
The Review Committee may conclude that oral interviews/presentations and/or demonstrations are required. The
presentation process will allow all eligible respondents to demonstrate their solution, explaining and/or clarifying any
unusual or significant elements related to their response. Any cost incidental for the oral interviews/presentations
and/or demonstrations shall be borne entirely by the respondent.
This RFP may result in the possible issuing of more than one contract to a respondent. Contracts may also be awarded
to multiple respondents.
Timeline
Segment 1, Market Research: The contract will begin on the date stated in the contract or upon full execution
of the contract, whichever is later, and will be completed by May 15, 2012.
Segment 2, Branding: The contract will begin on the date stated in the contract or upon full execution of the
contract, whichever is later, and will be completed by May 30, 2012. We anticipate work commencing in
April 2012 and lasting for a 4-6 week period.
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Segment 3, Public Relations: The contract will begin on the date stated in the contract or upon full execution
of the contract, whichever is later, and will be completed by December 31, 2012, with the option to extend an
additional 1 year in increments determined by the State. We anticipate work commencing in May 2012.
Completion of segment two and three is dependent upon receipt of Federal funding. All proposals must be received
not later than March 12, 2012.
Respondents are encouraged to propose additional components or activities if they will substantially improve the
results of the project. These items should be separated from the required items and the cost proposal.
This RFP does not obligate the State to award a contract or complete the project, and the State reserves the right to
cancel the solicitation if it is considered to be in its best interest.
Prospective respondents who have any questions regarding this request for proposal may submit their questions in
writing by March 5, 2012 to:
Mary Sienko, Health Insurance Exchange Marketing and Communications Director
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101
Email:
mary.sienko@state.mn.us
Telephone: 651-296-6685
Responses to all questions received will be made available in writing to all interested parties.
Other personnel are NOT authorized to discuss this RFP with responders before the proposal submission
deadline. Contact regarding this RFP with any personnel not listed above could result in disqualification.
Proposal Content
Responders must submit the following information:
Provide a 1 page cover letter identifying the main contact for the proposal and any subcontractors, your eligibility as a
respondent to this RFP, and whether you are submitting a proposal for one, two or three segments. Proposals
exceeding 15 pages per segment or 45 pages in total will not be considered. The cover letter, resumes, work samples
and required forms in section 6 are excluded from the page limit. Proposals should be submitted with single spaced
text in 11 point font with 1 inch margins.
1. Project Overview and Description (40% of proposal evaluation):
Describe your understanding of the nature of the project, activities of an Exchange, and the segment goals.
Explain how the proposed solution will meet the project objectives.
2. Work Plan (10% of proposal evaluation):
Include a work plan and timeline for the segment you are bidding on.
Describe proposed project management and interaction/communication with Exchange staff and/or
stakeholders for the project.
3. Company Overview, Qualifications, and Experience (10% of proposal evaluation):
Describe company history and growth.
Provide a list of personnel, including subcontractors, who will work on the segment, detailing their training
and work experience and the anticipated amount and/or portion of time each will devote to this project.
Resumes must be submitted for key personnel, including subcontractors.
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