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The Election And COVID-19 Could Be Factors In Health Insurance Open Enrollment This Year

September 15, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Insurance brands need to be prepared early for open enrollment, which begins November 1. The pandemic and election could be factors in how people make their insurance decisions, and insurance marketers should be ready to deploy digital strategies that meet consumers needs and address new concerns. 

Differentiation Will Be Key As Insurance Shoppers Want Coverage For The Unexpected

Shutterstock_1169616739 Hand arranging wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept

In the past, people have spent less than 30 minutes selecting health insurance benefits. And often, people just roll over what health insurance they had previously, continuing it for the new year.  But it’s likely that this year, given concerns about coverage related to COVID-19 or future election-related health insurance impacts, health insurance consumers will be looking more closely at what health insurance options are available.

Health insurance brands that want to appeal to timely consumer concerns should provide details on how their health insurance covers illnesses and hospital stays associated with COVID-19, making distinctions between their offerings and other plans. Insurance marketing strategies can also be used to reassure consumers that their health insurance coverage won’t be impacted by political changes.

Brands can also differentiate by highlighting their corporate social responsibility initiatives, particularly those that align with consumer feelings about the impact of COVID-19. For example, donations to food banks and prioritizing healthcare workers.

Proactive, Safety-First Content Marketing Can Offer Health Insurance Open Enrollment Shoppers Peace Of Mind 

During uncertain times that still require social distancing, insurance companies should appear to be doing everything they can to offer consumers the safest access to doctors and medical advice. Content marketing on health insurance websites that details contactless services (telehealth, prescription refill services) and other benefits that promote safety during the pandemic, can be effective at educating consumers and gaining trust. An “all in this together” positive approach may also offer the authenticity consumers are looking for.

Other effective digital content strategies that can encourage health insurance loyalty or interest from prospective new customers include:

  • Landing pages dedicated to coronavirus facts, updates and protocols.
  • Articles that address ongoing national concerns and how they affect health and wellness, including loneliness, racial injustice, job loss and food insecurity, and ways to cope, like joining a walking club or deep breathing relaxation techniques. 

Unique Offerings, Appealing To Consumers Aged 50-64, Can Effectively Distinguish Brands During Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Shutterstock_1694491534 Beautiful brunette older woman training gym at home holding smartphone. Senior female workout with fitness app on the phone. Concept about people, sport, quarantine.

Americans over 50 are increasingly interested in health and wellness, exercising regularly and finding ways to maintain healthy habits. According to a recent study by Aging 2.0, 46% of 54-60-year olds and 39% of 61-66 year olds will download a wellness app. For insurance brands interested in this demographic, marketing strategies that highlight alternative doctors and medical options specific to consumers over 50, digital innovations that include online wellness programs and apps and user-friendly customer portals can appeal to older health insurance shoppers. Many shoppers may also be more invested in their general health given concerns about COVID-19 and will want to know exactly how their insurance coverage keeps them in good health. 

Audience targeting via personalized plans that cost less or offer something other than the typical insurance coverage (hair loss, weight loss), may resonate with health insurance open enrollment shoppers, including those under 64. Health insurance start-ups on the market are making headway with alternative plans, and these kinds of unique products may resonate with consumers curious about their full range of health insurance options.

As Health Insurance Open Enrollment Nears, Insurance Brands Should Rely On Best Practices

Staying agile as circumstances around the world change is key for health insurance brands that want to be top of mind for consumers as open enrollment approaches. Deploying best practices can offer steadiness amid the uncertainty, including:

  • Understanding target consumers and how/where to reach them effectively.
  • Staying prepared with a robust multichannel marketing strategy that is optimized and evolves as needed.
  • Following up with leads quickly by having call centers ready to go and email/SMS strategies in place for nurturing.
  • Maximizing campaigns that are effective.

Health insurance brands that can speak to the concerns of open enrollment shoppers right now, using clear, informative content marketing, differentiating their services and appealing to targeted audiences, may generate higher-intent leads and increase their enrollment numbers. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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