The Way Americans Select Healthcare Insurance Has Forever Changed

3 ways digital marketing and exchange technology platforms have shifted

For the past half-century, arguably longer, families chose their healthcare coverage through their employer’s insurance benefits offering. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created online healthcare exchange platforms and has already begun to change the way these consumers purchase healthcare insurance. While only 1 million employees used online exchanges to choose their healthcare coverage in 2014, Accenture estimates that by 2018, over 40 million employees, or 30%, will select their health insurance coverage plan through these exchange platforms. 

[keystat number="30%" width="50%" text="Of American employees will select their healthcare insurance through the exchanges by 2018" last="yes" align="right"][/keystat]With the growth of digital marketing platforms, there is an incredible opportunity for both data-driven CRM agencies and exchange owners to simplify and personalize the health benefit selection experience for America’s consumers. If these two technology trends come together, we will see a dramatic increase in adoption of these exchanges and three key desired outcomes:

1. Reduce Acquisition Costs while Achieving Higher Enrollment

With the advent of online exchanges, agents, brokers, and sales reps have become outdated.

As the heads of households shop for health insurance online, insurers (e.g., CIGNA, Aetna) and public exchange sponsors (e.g., State of New York, State of Connecticut) need to deliver personalized and targeted online messages to individual consumers that won’t blow their marketing budgets. The solution: low-cost, targeted digital marketing methods (digital channels such as email, targeted display, paid social, paid search ,and online re-targeting) are already being used by health insurers to attract individual consumers to online exchanges. 

The result? To enroll HIX members, one New York City insurer included email and other digital channels in its 2014 marketing media mix. The plan saw a total cost per member decrease of 39% while exceeding overall response goals by 44%The data speaks for itself: data-driven digital marketing drives exchange enrollment while significantly decreasing overall spend. 

2. Educate and Raise the “ACA IQ” Across the Country

The country’s overall “ACA IQ” must be raised; and insurers need to do it effectively, efficiently, and cheaply. Today’s marketers have the ability to merge online activity (Google searches, pages visited, social media posts) with traditional marketing database data at the individual level. This data can then be compiled, analyzed, and used by exchange platform providers (public or private) to deliver targeted, personalized digital media through the shop, buy, enrollment process that educates and informs families on the how ACA will specifically benefit them.

3. Simplified, Personalized, and Targeted Experience for Consumers

By using data gained from online behavior, coupled with traditional marketing data, an exchange provider can discern what health insurance provider, product, and message should be displayed to an exchange site user. For example, if a user has a young family, they can be presented with plans and products that are family oriented, whereas a 60-year-old retiree who is an avid traveler may be better suited receiving product recommendations geared towards national coverage with a broad provider network.

Learn more on this topic in a recent Healthcare Executive Insight article titled “Healthcare Marketing Practices Gone in the Blink of an Eye.”   

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