Do you know the difference between eating tamales and pasteles? If you know Mexican food, you might say that tamales are a traditional dish made of masa filled with meat, veggies or cheese, and pasteles are cakes. However, if you go to Puerto Rico, pasteles are similar to tamales, but they are made of green bananas (and other ingredients) stuffed with pork, olives and sweet peppers. These and other subtleties in Hispanic culture and the Spanish language are one of the many things that distinguish the Hispanic markets in the U.S.
As a health care company or provider, are you creating a marketing strategy that will capture the Hispanic market? Right now, there are more than 10 million Hispanics who are eligible to have health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (PPACA). And, according to a new report from PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) titled “Hispanics: A growing force in the New Health Economy,” this represents enormous opportunities and challenges for the traditional and non-traditional health care organizations.
“Hispanics have tremendous consumer purchasing power, but our research shows that they have also been more likely than other consumers to delay health care, and don’t have great trust in the U.S. health system,” said Frank Lemmon, principal, PwC U.S. health industries. In fact, according to a 2013 report published by Nielsen, the 52 million Hispanics who make up part of the U.S. population have an impressive buying power of $1.2 trillion, with Hispanic women making most of the spending and budgeting decisions in the household.
To better understand the Hispanic consumer attitudes and behaviors, HRI and PwC set out to research this market’s range of cultural and consumer preference factors. “Respecting the nuances of this diverse market will be critical for companies looking to build trust and market share among the Hispanic population,” said Randy Delgado, director of PwC U.S. health industries.
The report revealed six key consumer insights that health care companies need to consider regarding the Hispanic market.
1. Emphasize cost over quality
On average, 46 percent of Hispanics said that cost is most important when it comes to health care, compared to 35 percent of non-Hispanics. Meanwhile, 53 percent of non-Hispanics consider quality most important vs. 42 percent of Hispanics.
2. Clinics and other caregivers could carve their own market share
Hispanics are less likely than other consumers to use a doctor as a primary caregiver when facing a non-emergency condition (66 percent vs. 76 percent), and they are more open to using community health clinics in their neighborhoods or non-traditional settings like retail clinics, and alternative caregivers such as pharmacists.