Healthcare reform is not only changing the way individuals buy health insurance, it is also changing the way insurance companies will have to market their products. Many insurers are starting to experiment with direct-to-consumer marketing, hoping to reel in Medicare beneficiaries as well as those in the under-65 crowd who will soon be entering the market for individual policies. Developing a strong sales strategy backed by solid data will help you edge out competitors and win customers who are looking to make informed decisions.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals without medical insurance will pay an annual penalty starting at $95 in 2014 and increasing to $750 in 2016. That means millions of uninsured Americans will flood the health insurance market, and competition among insurers will continue to intensify.
How will you reach these potential customers? Start by providing the information they are looking for. About 60% of U.S. adults (80% of Internet users) look online for health information, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. A more recent study by Cybercitizen Health suggests that number may now be as high as 73%. You can influence and empower potential customers by arming them with comprehensive network comparison data that demonstrates the strength of your products.
Savvy consumers expect choices, and they want to make educated decisions about their healthcare. Although some insurance products are complex and difficult to explain online, using the internet and other direct sales channels strategically can boost your business.
State and federal health insurance exchanges will make it even easier for individuals to research and compare plans online before deciding on the best medical, dental and vision options for their needs. What kind of information are you providing to these potential customers, and which sales tools will you use to capture leads?