The Affordable Care Act (also Healthcare Reform, Obamacare) was upheld yesterday by the US Supreme Court and now the focus for the Insurance Industry, States, Federal Government and the Healthcare supply chain should be to make it all work. Easier said than done if you see the enormous material that exists on the FAQ pages of the CCIIO or Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. And this is when most folks had doubts about the Supreme Court allowing the law to stand. Chief Justice Roberts has provided a great marketing clue in his brilliant summary of the majority opinion. Justice Roberts said that the Government does not have the right to force people to buy something by imposing a fine if they do not. However, the Government can impose a tax on those who do not buy. If people don't want to buy then they are slapped with a fine (now a tax) that neither insurance companies, healthcare providers or Federal and State Governments really want. What all organizations, healthcare B2B and B2G want is that everyone buys insurance. Here are some suggestions to make this happen:
- Think early stage Insurance market: The insurance market (including life, property or health insurance) at early stages needs a lot of effort,explaining and US Insurance marketers went through this launch experience at least two generations ago. Ask the sales folks in developing country insurance markets for ideas that work and explore how insurance pioneers sold insurance products initially in the US.
- Segment through big data: Data exists on all the 30 Million who are un-insured. Make it easy for them to get insurance. Remember at least 6 million (20%) of these uninsured do not have Internet access. This estimate given that Internet penetration in the US is about 80% and the less affluent is unlikely to have Internet access. Something different from an Internet portal for this segment needs to happen.
- Exciting Sales Promotions and Point of Sale: Reaching and communicating with the uninsured is a challenge and exciting sales promotions might help. Those using only emergency rooms can be provided with free insurance sign-up so that some costs shift to the less expensive primary care stage.
- Insurance as Risk Cover for BOP : Insurance covers risk and risk is felt least at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP), because there is so little to lose. To motivate the young healthy but poor to buy insurance will need some novel marketing ideas that are being used in multiple categories in the developing world. Small packages of offerings at very low cost works well and gets the market primed to buy more as they can afford it.
- Keeping it simple for the consumer is essential despite the huge length of this law and its complications. Think iPhone!
All in all , exciting times for all folks involved in making the Healthcare Exchanges work. Contact StratoServe.