Content strategist Jennie Kim lays out the three components of a winning content strategy and...
Hidden Gems of Healthcare
Individual insurance is a convenient option, and typically an affordable one for healthy members of this age group since premiums are based on health status (see Table 2). Mark Farrah Associates notes that the number of older students may increase as students choose to stay in school longer because of the slumping economy.8
Health insurers with a large footprint in the group insurance market have the advantage of an existing relationship with many of the customers they hope to target for their other products. Generally speaking, converting an existing customer is more efficient and less costly than acquiring a new customer. Fewer resources are needed because there’s a service-related communication channel already in place that in each use can also help to positively reinforce the insurance carrier’s brand in the mind of the group health plan member. The more customized the communication with members, the greater the opportunities to strengthen the relationship.
McKinsey & Company estimates that about $40 billion worth of conversion opportunities exist each year for health insurers, who will typically convert less than 10 percent of all members who are candidates for being moved into new products.9 This suggests that savvy healthcare marketers will map out short- and long-term conversion strategies and put them in motion.
One aspect of consumer behavior that healthcare marketers should be aware of is how consumers choose their healthcare providers. Word of mouth is consistently their most significant resource for making healthcare-related decisions. As an example, according to the authors of a recent study from the Center for Studying Health System Change, “Most Americans still rely on information from friends and family when choosing a primary care physician, and few Americans actively shop or consider price or quality information—especially when choosing specialists or facilities for medical procedures.”10
Consumers’ reliance on word-of-mouth recommendations can be a positive force in conversions, and health marketers would be smart to harness it among target segments that rate their group insurance carrier highly. In the case of college students transitioning to individual coverage, for instance, marketers can tap satisfied parents to influence the conversion to a product offered by an insurer they like and trust. Highly satisfied spouses and co-workers can make the difference in Medicare-product decisions.