The 2017 Open Enrollment for individual and family plans has officially launched. While the enrollment period for health insurers runs from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017, the deadline for most members to enroll or renew and get coverage beginning on January 1st is December 15th – a span of just six weeks.
But the short enrollment period isn’t the only challenge facing insurers. With a rapidly evolving marketplace – and more insurers exiting some or all exchanges – marketers should be ready to effectively communicate the latest changes to members and prospects. Customer service and sales representatives must also be prepared to educate consumers about complex, new product offerings and plan updates. One notable extension, for example, now gives members whose plans were discontinued by their insurers a December 31st enrollment deadline for coverage beginning on January 1st.
What does this mean? As the Open Enrollment period begins, health insurers must be proactive about explaining ACA-related decisions and various plan options, while continuing to promote enrollment – all within a 45 to 90 day period.
A content strategy that utilizes existing digital platforms with built-in audiences, including web and social, to promote enrollment, share key messaging and educate about plan options and updates is a smart approach for reaching essential targets. Here are some highlights from a number of health insurers who are promoting Open Enrolment early through their websites and social streams:
Anthem’s Social Strategy
Since September, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield has been using its Facebook and Twitter streams to drop reminders to its nearly 900,000 followers that the open enrollment season is approaching. With short, to-the-point copy and compelling images, Anthem’s social strategy makes a potentially confusing process a whole lot simpler. The social team uses engaging and interactive video to explain Open Enrollment, all while regularly conveying the key point: “Open Enrollment sneaks up fast.”
Florida Blue’s Complete Content Marketing Approach
Florida Blue employs a comprehensive content strategy when it comes to promoting this year’s Open Enrollment period. From a five-part testimonial series on Facebook to educational blog content explaining key dates and the ins-and-outs of enrollment, Florida Blue has been expertly relying on its digital platforms to drive home messaging and promote plan options. The insurer’s website offers early enrollment with a bold call-to-action button encouraging consumers to “Shop Now.” The slider utilizes simple, yet effective copy to inform visitors that marketplace enrollment begins on November 1st.
HAP’s Employee-Focused Campaign
With research indicating that 50% of full-time employees reportedly share their company’s social content without any prompting, employees may be a brand’s greatest set of influencers. So, it’s no surprise that Michigan-based health insurer HAP relied on its employees to count down to Open Enrollment. The insurer used its weekly Employee Spotlight to remind its nearly 20,000 likers of the upcoming Open Enrollment period, while introducing sales representatives who are directly involved with helping members to pick the right plans. The strategy not only encourages engagement amongst employees and their friends and family, but also puts faces to the names and voices that will be assisting members and prospects through the next 90 days.
BCBST Announces It’s Exiting Some Exchanges
For BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, this year’s Open Enrollment period is not just about driving enrollment. In addition, the insurer must also notify plan members that it is exiting some exchanges and no longer offering Individual and Marketplace plans for three regions for 2017. BCBST used Facebook to make the announcement, and included more information, FAQs and important dates in a blog post. To notify customers who don’t use Facebook, BCBST also utilized a popup on the website to share the message and linked to the blog post for more details.
BCBS Nebraska Prepares to Exit All Exchanges
Like BCBST, BlueCross BlueShield Nebraska made the decision to exit the ACA Marketplace and used a combination of blog and social posts to explain the choice to its members. The Facebook post, which is pinned to the top of the page for easy access, gives customers the opportunity to voice their concern, ask questions and get more information from the insurer.
While BCBS Nebraska is exiting the exchanges, the insurer is still relying on enrollment from group plans and Medicare Supplement. For non-individual plan holders, BCBS Nebraska uses its first slider to notify consumers about the upcoming Open Enrollment period with a strong call-to-action button to preview 2017 plan options.
As Open Enrollment kicks off today, these insurers got their campaigns off to a good start with the right messaging. What content marketing strategies do you have in place to drive enrollment over the next 45 to 90 days?Tags: content marketing for healthcare, health plan marketing, open enrollment period, social marketing tactics