Health plans are on the verge of getting access to a large chunk of new customers. A lot of them, studies suggest, are young and healthy. Arguably, the most profitable customer profile for health plans. There are over 7.5 million young adults in the age group of 18-26 that are currently uninsured. When you expand that age group to 19-29, the numbers are close to 14.8 million. This is a goldmine for health plans.
Recent studies show that 25% of young adults between the ages of 18-26 don’t visit a doctor because they don’t have health insurance.
With the ACA, all this will change. These young adults will be mandated to get insurance. The reforms intend to take care of the complicated part by mandating that plans be easy to comprehend, compare and purchase. Access to subsidies and government penalties are significant reasons that will drive these individuals to shop for health insurance. Also, with the increased competition, inside and outside of state and federal exchanges, it can be argued that individuals will have access to competitive, if not cheap insurance.
The challenge for health plans though is to attract this young, internet-savvy generation. This young group of consumers is known to be critically under-informed about health insurance options or they think the process is prohibitively expensive, or complicated, or both.
By using certain techniques to reach out to young adults, health plans will have a better chance at capturing the population of new, young uninsured that is coming. One way to reach out, that is evident, is to meet young adults where they live — online. This young generation is accustomed to online stores that simplify all of their needs – from shopping to movies to travel. Facebook, Kayak, Amazon, Netflix etc. are second nature to these individuals and support one-click shopping that has instant appeal to these young buyers.
If Health plans want to attract this group of customers, they need solutions that integrate well with popular web destinations and are easy-of-use and have a simplified and interactive interface. Unwieldy systems and complex insurance products will most definitely put this Generation Y off.
Health plans that realize the needs of this new breed of consumers are likely to capture a sizeable chunk of this market. User-friendly sales portals and a scalable and flexible back-end process to support it is the need of the hour. First-off-the-blocks and early adopter health plans will definitely have an advantage in tapping this market.