Healthcare has been a hot topic lately, and it will only get hotter as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be a major point of contention during the Presidential debates. The first debate kicks-off tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. It’s an issue that everyone can relate to, and it’s certainly been a talking point throughout the media, at the water cooler and around the dinner table.
While everyone has an opinion on the new healthcare law, it’s interesting to note consumer preference for receiving health insurance communications such as policies and other private information. A recent white paper released by Pitney Bowes analyzed a survey of more than 1,000 respondents to better understand how health insurance providers can address challenges and better serve customers. It provided some relevant insight for health insurers, and some welcomed news for the direct mail industry. Here are the results:
- 84% prefer to receive some or all of their health insurance communications through the mail, with 46% preferring to receive this information exclusively via mail.
- 52% of respondents in the 18-24 age group preferred receiving all their health insurance communications through the mail, which reflects the findings of other studies that also show millennials favoring physical mail over online communications.
- 40% preferred receiving their health insurance communications through a multichannel approach.
- According to the white paper, the percentage of respondents who preferred online-only communication was “still very small” across all age groups.
If you are responsible for marketing and/or communications for a health insurance provider, it’s instructive to take note of these statistics regarding preferred communications channels. You can also make your communications work harder for you by including information that engages members, which will go a long way in building trust and loyalty. For example, 60% of respondents said that information on health and wellness programs is offered by their provider and half take advantage of it. But 22% of respondents said they didn’t know whether their provider offered health and wellness information or not. While offering the information adds value, it’s crucial to make it easily accessible and to make sure your members know it’s available.
Two things are certain for health insurance communications: The tangible qualities of direct mail continue to resonate with a large percentage of consumers, and information about health and wellness programs provides added value that’s not only welcome, but trending toward expected.
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