On June 18th, Mintel led a webinar about how brands and consumers are interacting as a follow up to the initial ACA webinar in December. A brief overview of the content is below:

Be consumer friendly when explaining and promoting complex topics

Lessons learned from the initial open enrollment period show that brands – both insurance companies and other organizations – need to be mindful of a consumers knowledge and understanding. While consumer understanding of the ACA has improved over the past year, the Affordable Care Act and health insurance in general are complex. This leaves room for brands to express their subject matter expertise and serve as the go-to source of information for consumers searching to educate themselves on the topic. Explaining the benefit (“financial assistance”), rather than the technical name (“subsidized coverage”) is one way brands can insure the information they provide is relevant and understandable.

Educate and incentivize consumers even after they are customers

During the initial open enrollment period brands incentivized consumers to sign up for coverage by highlighting the urgency of the enrollment period to avoid a tax penalty, or emphasizing the ability to get financial assistance if needed. As customers, they now need an incentive to stay with the plan they initially chose during open enrollment. Insurance companies who thoroughly communicate in various channels: public websites and social media platforms as well as customer portals and mobile apps, newsletters and clear and understandable statements can show they understand their customers and can provide education and tools to maximize the benefits of health insurance coverage.

Develop marketing campaigns that take into account cultural nuances

In order to effectively reach specific consumer segments – such as the Hispanic market – brands must understand cultural attitudes that are unique and could lead to possible disconnects when communicating the importance of insurance. For instance, Hispanics as a group tend to see going to the doctor as a last resort, so the challenge is helping them understand the value of medical care as a whole. In addition, it is important for brands to recognize and understand the difference between various Hispanic consumers: marketing to Cuban Americans may be different that other Hispanic communities, marketing to young Hispanic means addressing needs that are different than other age groups.

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Stephanie Roy is a Senior Industry Analyst focused on insurance for Mintel Comperemedia. She is responsible for providing internal and external stakeholders with insights and analysis on trends in the Life and Health insurance industries.

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