Congress is crafting health insurance reform proposals now, but insurance companies have already been getting ready for change. Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, saw health insurers increase marketing direct mail offers to individuals by 18% in the past twelve months*.
Mintel Comperemedia’s vice president of insurance services, Daniel Hayes, believes insurance companies are stepping up direct mail in anticipation of government reform: “Health insurers are actually eager to work with the legislature on affordable, accessible health care. But they realize that government reform will likely mean increased competition, so insurers are trying to raise the public’s awareness of their plans, benefits and belief systems.”
Mintel Comperemedia’s direct mail database shows health insurers positioning themselves as high quality and focused on the individual, not just the employer. For example, United Healthcare advertises affordability and choice in its new UnitedHealthOne brand, while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia’s SmartSense plan focuses on low costs for the unemployed. Taking a slightly different angle, Kaiser Permanente’s direct mail emphasizes general health and wellbeing, claiming “we’ll help you live well, be well, and thrive.”
“Health insurers are truly focusing on the individuals they cover. With tailored new products and customized marketing messages, insurers are trying to win consumers’ confidence, so they can win their business too,” comments Daniel Hayes.
A recent Mintel survey on people’s attitudes towards health insurance reveals nine out of 10 adults (92%) think they should be able to obtain coverage from whichever company they want. Over two-thirds (69%) think the federal government should provide tax credits for people to buy health insurance individually.
*Acquisition mail volume from April 2008 to March 2009 compared to the prior 12-month period