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  • Success Story
  • Virginia


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In May 2018, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and state lawmakers reached an agreement to expand the Medicaid program, offering low- or no-cost health care options to close to 400,000 newly eligible adults statewide. New income eligibility requirements meant that more Virginians could receive benefits from the insurance program, and it was the mission of Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to inform as many newly eligible adults as possible in order to give them the opportunity to have health coverage. With the help of the Granicus Experience Group team of digital communications experts and the email marketing, text message, and social media platform govDelivery, DMAS was able to enroll more than 250,000 new adult members in Medicaid.


  • 250K New Medicaid Members in partnership with the Granicus Experience Group.
  • $355M In Net Savings Medicaid expansion will contribute a net savings of $355 million in VA
  • 50K More People Reached after strategic outreach campaign execution
  • 75% Increase In Audience With the help of an overlay, VA was able to increase audience capture by 75%

Following the passage of the Medicaid expansion legislation, leaders at DMAS worked with the Granicus Experience Group to develop a plan to increase enrollment among newly eligible adults and families. The joint effort set a goal to accomplish three key milestones: grow an active audience of 50,000 Virginians, set up nurture campaigns to guide applicants and application assisters through Medicaid enrollment, and contribute to enrolling as many of the 400,000 eligible participants in Medicaid.

Step 1: Digital Assessment and Audience Research

The Granicus Experience Group (GXG) conducted a digital maturity assessment of DMAS outreach strategy, which included use of two websites and three social media accounts. The audit included an in-depth review of every page on the agency’s websites, inspection of every call to action and program link, analysis of every message for tone, and more. Additionally, the GXG team did a thorough analysis of DMAS’ core personas and made recommendations on updating the user journey for the various personas on different devices. The audience profiles covered four primary audience segments:

Segment 1: Expansion Candidates
This segment consisted of uninsured adults who were potentially eligible for the Medicaid expansion, which means their family incomes are at 138 percent Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or lower.

Segment 2: Children and Parents
This segment consisted of uninsured children and pregnant women who are potentially eligible for Medicaid, which means their family incomes are at 205 percent FPL or lower.

Segment 3: Aged, Blind or Disabled
This segment consisted of all aged, blind and disabled Virginians who would qualify for Medicaid, which means their family incomes are at 138 percent FPL or lower.

Segment 4: Partners and Stakeholders
This segment consists of all partners and stakeholders who will be working to increase awareness of the Virginia Medicaid expansion and will be assisting individuals in applying.

Step 2: Design of Outreach Campaign Series

The GXG team quickly realized that DMAS needed to use email in order to reach their target personas, and so they began designing an outreach campaign to be sent over a period of time that took subscribers from initial outreach, provided program education and enrollment information, and, ultimately, engaged the targeted audience all the way through to enrollment. In total, the GXG team designed four outreach campaigns that each consisted of six parts: Welcome, Education, and Coverage. The goal was to lead every eligible adult or stakeholder through a step-by-step process with clear direction to a specific call to action.

Step 3: Campaign Execution

Each outreach and nurture campaign that was designed by the GXG team ran for a six-week period with optimization check-ins along the way. Consistent monitoring of website analytics, email metrics, and social media engagement led the team to apply an agile approach to campaign execution – quickly pivoting to maximize the impact of every email, text, and social message. The GXG team was also closely tied into DMAS’ website strategy to ensure campaign messages were driving web visitors to the right places. Detailed tracking of conversions helped focus the adjustments along the way.


With a combined effort of the strategic digital campaigns, key partnerships with other programs like the Virginia Department of Social Services, and a multi-channel offline effort, DMAS successfully enrolled more than 250,000 new members in Medicaid. Estimates project that Virginia will reach or surpass 375,000 new members in Medicaid in 2020 – reducing uninsured rates among low-income residents. In addition to the benefits of health care coverage for adults and families in Virginia – including greater access to primary and preventative care – expanded health care coverage is also a contributor to a stronger economy. The expansion of Medicaid is expected to contribute a net savings of $355 million for Virginia’s two-year budget. Medicaid expansion also has been linked in other states to the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars in income for workers.