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Health-Insurance Providers Seek Direct-to-Consumer Connections (AdvertisingAge)

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While no one knows exactly what’s ahead in the health insurance space, the President’s health care reform law likely means heightened competition, an opportunity to tap 50 million uninsured people, and a three-year window to implement bigger budgets to develop more direct-to-consumer efforts. ”The insurance industry, as is typical to a bureaucratic industry, is probably two to three years behind the curve [on DTC marketing], but there’s a lot of quick pickup by companies,” said Lindsay Resnick, CMO of KBM Group Health Services, a WPP direct-marketing shop. Insurers such as Aetna, which recently rebranded itself as a “health-solutions company,” are aggressively working to differentiate their corporate brands. Most notable among these branding changes is the speed at which insurers are enhancing preventive care and other programs through investment in digital apps and technology, and leveraging them to reach consumers directly, as opposed to going through an employer group.