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Direct-to-Consumer Marketing for Healthcare Reform: Ready for Several Conversations?

• Author: , Sr. Social Content Manager/Team Leader

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans will have new decisions to make about their healthcare coverage. And it will take quite a marketing effort – from everyone including the states and insurance providers – to make the public aware of options that result from the reform.

In fact, experts from groups like Enroll America estimate “educating people on healthcare reform will take six or seven conversations per person” (source Miami Herald: “Educating Florida about healthcare reform”). That’s a lot of legwork in a relatively short amount of time: the exchanges (the new healthcare marketplaces) open October 1, and the deadline for enrollment is January 1, 2014.

To prepare consumers, states, healthcare organizations and advocacy groups will be trying to squeeze in as many touch points as possible during the enrollment period. To attract customers and stand out from the crowd, insurers are going to have to make a lot of noise… all while balancing education with self-promotion.

Many insurers, like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and our own client MVP Health Care, have developed online resource centers that provide information about healthcare reform for all of their affected audiences, including employers, brokers, members, hospitals and physicians. Attempting to match communication vehicles with consumer preferences, the sites offer all kinds of digital media, such as videos, ebooks and podcasts.

But the touch points aren’t just happening online. Some, like Enroll America, are recruiting and training volunteers to go door-to-door. Others are taking the conversations to the places people gather. According to a recent report on NPR, for example, states and insurers may be turning to large-scale sports venues and events to spread the word about healthcare reform. Other recommendations for in-person conversations include organizing town hall meetings or hosting employer-hosted training.

Do you have a strategy for cutting through the chatter? Will your direct-to-consumer marketing be effective enough to earn business in this new market? You need to be certain. Let’s sit down and talk.

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