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Health Plans Set to Pour Money into Open Enrollment for 'Crazy System'

By Gregory A. Freeman  
   October 05, 2016

Clinton is not the only one who thinks so, with complaints about high premiums and deductibles at the top of any consumer survey regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare plans have to address that complaint during the two months they have to reach millions of people choosing a policy for 2017, but many are not making the most of their marketing and advertising budgets, according to Steve Yi, CEO of MediaAlpha, which helps insurers attract the right consumers.

"The plans are anticipating a high volume of searches for insurance quotes in the upcoming enrollment period, approaching the volume they saw in the early open enrollment periods," Yi says.

"That is an opportunity, but carriers can be a lot more careful about targeting during this period than most have been in the past."

Targeting Consumers

Insurers should focus on finding the right consumer, Yi says, and that requires deep analytics and targeting based on information the consumers provide when searching for coverage, such as family background, income levels, ZIP code, number of family members, and age.

That kind of data sometimes is collected when a consumer uses a health insurance quote search online, making that avenue more efficient than banner ads, he says.

Many insurers are new to consumer-level marketing and do not take advantage of the segmentation that is available, Yi says. That can lead to more of a shotgun approach that tries to reach a large volume of consumers rather than focusing on the smaller segment that the insurer really wants to recruit.

Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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