Taking marketing basics more seriously could help health insurers improve the well being of their customers as well as their own finances.
Lindsay Resnick, chief marketing officer for health services at KBM Group, Richardson, Texas, a data analysis firm, delivered that message recently in Salt Lake City during a session at a meeting organized by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Washington.
Resnick, a veteran health insurance strategist, told health insurance company executives at the session that they have to get serious about using all of the databses and analytical tools that are now available to segment consumers and find ways to attract those consumers to individually sold or individually enrolled plans, keep them in the plans, and inspire them to take better care of their health.
Twenty years ago, major medical insurers focused on working through brokers to sell to employers.
Now, Resnick said, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) changes seem likely to increase the percentage of consumers who will be signing up for their own coverage – entirely on their own, through an exchange, or through an employer’s menu of coverage options.
Meanwhile, PPACA medical loss ratio rules and customers’ resistance to rate increases are putting pressure on insurers to improve consumer communications in ways that will reduce claims’ costs by getting consumers to see doctors, get the recommended screenings and follow treatment recommendations, Resnick said.
Resnick said firms like KBM can help health insurers segment consumers using the same kinds of variables businesses in other industries would use, such as a consumer’s age, income, educational level, attitude, and likely behavior.
Today, Resnick said, a health insurer will also want to look at factors such as a consumer’s use of cell phones, computers and other digital devices.