The second public health insurance exchange annual open enrollment period won’t start until Nov. 15 in most of the country, but eHealth Inc. (Nasdaq:EHTH) is already running television commercials advertising its ability to help.
The Web-based health insurance broker is running one TV advertising campaign to support its Medicare plan sales site, and another campaign to support its major medical sales site.
Some say the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange managers might face even more marketing challenges this time around. Last year, the enrollment period started Oct. 1 and straggled to an end in mid-April in most of the country. This year, the enrollment period is supposed to be much shorter, with the curtain falling Feb. 15.
Exchange managers may have less cash for advertising. Potential prospects know that other consumers have “gotten consumers” — but they’ve also had time to hear stories about problems with finding in-network providers and using coverage.
At eHealth — a company that can help consumers enroll either in qualified health plans (QHPs) through an exchange or through off-exchange coverage — marketing managers are trying to create their own promotional magic.
In the New York City area, for example, one commercial, the “Uninsured Helpline” spot, ran Monday on getTV — on Channel 68.3. Channel 68.3 is one of the new digital broadcast channels. It was squeezed in alongside Channel 68, a Univision station.
In between scenes in an old Barbra Streisand movie, the channel ran an ad for final expense life insurance, then an ad for eHealth’s Medicare plan site, and then an ad for the Uninsured Helpline.
The analysts at iSpot.tv, a television ad tracking firm, said they know of two versions of the ad, and that the ad has run at least 40 times on national TV.
Whether you sell health insurance, long-term care insurance, life insurance or other products, what can you learn from the eHealth ad? Here are some ideas.
1. Don’t be proud.
The eHealth looks and sounds a great deal like the kind of commercial that might advertise male enhancement pills.
But, let’s face it: You aren’t the queen of England. You’re selling insurance. And most of us remember seeing commercials for male enhancement pills. Maybe those commercials — and the old used care commercials featuring a lightly clothed man in a barrel — are worth emulating.