Bolder Thinking Blog

3 insurance marketing trends for Annual Election Period (AEP) 2020

November 9th, 2020 | Lizzie Egan

Medicare marketing required extra attention this year amidst the pandemic and insurers are putting their customers’ best interests first in initial AEP messaging. 

Setting customers up for success

Medicare beneficiaries have a growing number of plan options to choose from, and marketers spoke to their top priorities, including cost and health network.

Anthem highlighted that Medicare Advantage pays for the things Original Medicare does not, suggesting that Medicare Advantage has additional perks at no extra cost to customers. It also associated its ad to a health network to reassure customers that low costs don’t come with a lack of choice of doctors.

Source: Comperemedia Omni

Insurers clarified that despite low prices, coverage is still comprehensive. Humana and BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan encouraged consumers to click to learn more about their options.

Source: Comperemedia Omni
Source: Comperemedia Omni

Healthcare for this moment

Older consumers remain at-risk for COVID-19, so insurers introduced new benefits and relevant imagery to reflect reality

Humana has been a standout in helping customers pursue preventative care amidst the pandemic. Humana introduced a number of benefits to its customers in response to COVID-19, which it detailed in communications to existing customers, including in-home testing kits for ongoing conditions, expanded telehealth, and even an engaging video series on social media to keep followers entertained.

The insurer also released the “Human Care” acquisition campaign to emphasize its commitment to customer wellbeing. In its messaging, Humana defines Human Care as “a partner who listens and acts.”

Source: Comperemedia Omni

UnitedHealthcare also widely promoted online meetings and virtual healthcare. UnitedHealthcare reassured customers that they could remain in the safety of their homes throughout the customer journey, from researching plans to pursuing care. The insurer nodded to our current reality without explicitly mentioning it, suggesting that the customer can expect flexible benefits no matter the circumstances.

Source: Comperemedia Omni

Giving customers what they deserve

With an abundance of plans, Medicare is becoming increasingly confusing for a program that historically just required you to enroll at age 65. Insurers positioned their plans as something customers deserve, suggesting there is a gold standard plan that can support them as they age and experience new health needs.  

Oscar put a spotlight on its health networks that customers have “earned” and can “trust.” Oscar also used cartoon images that show doctors kneeling in front of its customers, inviting them to sign up for the Medicare plan they have long been awaiting.

What we think 

During AEP 2020, we saw insurers speak to primary customer priorities while repositioning messaging to reflect new needs. Marketers mixed old value propositions with new healthcare needs to deliver relevant messaging. As brands look ahead and approach loyalty messaging to existing customers, they will need to be agile in response to COVID-19, while remaining committed to the top priorities of beneficiaries.

Our advice to insurance marketers:

  1. In addition to offering free resource guides, direct consumers to plan and prescription cost calculators to help them understand and visualize how they can benefit from MA or MedSupp plans.
  2. Immediately after enrollment, underscore the availability of customer service reps and care managers to help members understand out-of-pocket costs, health networks, and benefits. And offer regular check-ins to ensure they are familiar with their plan.
  3. Offer online resource and telehealth options and include digital health capabilities among plan benefits to signal to customers that an omnichannel experience is available to them.

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Lizzie Egan

Lizzie Egan

Lizzie Egan is a Senior Analyst at Comperemedia, with a focus on the insurance industry.