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Exchanges Mean Insurers Must Market Directly To Consumers To Compete

Posted by Aaron Groffman on Wed, Jul 18, 2012

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The recent SCOTUS decision makes it necessary for health insurers to rethink their business models.  This is shaping up to be the most competitive era in healthcare’s history. The ability to recognize and adapt to change is key to survival.  Charles Fine from the Sloane School of Management points out, “thinking cannot be outsourced," and lots of thinking needs to be done right now.

To capitalize on the opportunity presented by ACA, the majority of insurers plan to participate in state health insurance exchanges.  Suddenly, consumers become a crucial vast market which adds a whole new dimension to how insurance companies view their business. PwC estimates health policies sold through exchanges could be worth nearly $60 billion in premium revenue by 2014 and grow to nearly $200 billion by 2019.  Marketing to consumers will change from the current employer-based B2B model to an exchange-based B2C model.

Insurers won’t find much help about how to compete looking within their own industry.  Instead they should be thinking about what companies like Amazon and Zappos and other online retailers did right to get where they are.  They must walk the tightrope between control and speed.  How will insurers reach this crucial market, what will their message strategy be to differentiate themselves from other insurers, and how will they be sure their infrastructure is in place to deliver on marketing promises made?

According to the following article from Employee Benefit Adviser, the insurers surveyed expect it will take approximately 15 months on average to get their businesses ready for exchange certification by the federal government, with 60% expecting it to take 18 months or longer.  How do you think these new challenges will affect insurers?

Providers will need to shift toward consumer-focused model post-reform - Articles - Employee Benefit Adviser.

Tags: Healthcare, Economy, Medical, Vision, dental





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