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Healthcare 2.0
Health Insurance Marketing in the Age of Obamacare

Mar. 10, 2014

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This is the year when most Americans feel the force of the Affordable Care Act.

All the changes to the health insurance market will be fully implemented. These are significant changes, there’s no doubt about it. The law, for one, could bring health insurance to millions of Americans. It could make insurance widely available and more affordable, and thus lower healthcare expenses.

The law will affect everyone. While its exact effects remain uncertain, the health insurance industry has wasted no time and is preparing for the big eventful year. Many are changing their approach and gotten innovative in order to attract uninsured residents.

What you’re seeing in the news and the blogosphere, however, is just a beginning. Expect health insurance websites to tailor their message to the changing demands of the market in the years to come.

Marketing to Different Segments of the Uninsured

The biggest challenge is to find coverage for the uninsured. That’s why the law created a new type of worker called “the navigator” to primarily help educate consumers about their health insurance options. Navigators are expected to dispel confusion and hesitation among the uninsured. Third parties, insurance agents, and insurance companies selling plans through the market will also be working with the uninsured.

But the uninsured is not a monolithic mass. In an analysis posted online by the Health and Human Services Department, the success of the law seems to hinge on three distinct segments of the uninsured. The uninsured, according to the Department comprises of six distinct groups but three of those are crucial to the success of the new law. Here are they:

  • Healthy & Young, which makes up 48 percent of the uninsured
  • Sick, Active & Worried, 29 percent
  • Passive and Unengaged, 15 percent

The goal for marketers and insurance is to sign up as many Healthy & Young and Passive & Unengaged. The Healthy & Young generally don’t see the need for health insurance while the Passive & Unengaged simply find the system difficult to manage.  You can’t persuade these groups unless you clearly understand what they want and unless you focus on giving them a good service.

Tapping New Markets with Technology

The last two groups are new to the world of health insurance. These groups tend to be younger than your existing customers. Both are likely to be technology-savvy. They have instant access to an overwhelming number of choices, thanks to the Internet.

This means companies should be more adept at B2C marketing strategies in order to tap 30 to 40 million uninsured individuals in the U.S. It will most likely require companies to create new departments in charge of IT infrastructure, digital communications, and online marketing. Companies will also have to target consumers more directly with the help of technology. And “directly” here means making the process a lot easier for everyone.

Think of mobile websites for a generation of mobile consumers. Think of websites in Spanish to keep the Hispanic segment better informed. And think of other aggressive B2C campaigns targeted at individuals and families.

The biggest challenge, you see, will always be consumers.

There’s a new market out there and it will soon obsolete your current strategies. A new way of marketing, one that actually aims at understanding individual consumers, is the only solution there is. Gathering data and investing in analytics is just part of the process. Gaining a better understanding of the prospective member is what the process is all about. Insights into the lifestyle, attitudes, and predispositions of potential member segments — including, but not limited to net worth, life stage, demographic interest, professional attitude, and preference of children — is key here.

Learn more by downloading our 10 Secrets of Top Health Insurance Websites.

Download: 10 Secrets of Top Health Insurance Websites


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