Insurers are finding ways to omit Obamacare from their marketing
The Affordable Care Act, often called “Obamacare,” has become a hyper-politicized issue within the U.S. While consumers and politicians throughout the country are arguing the merits of the federal law and how to fix its faults, insurance companies are looking at the issue from the perspective of business. Insurers throughout the U.S. are preparing for a public relations barrage, which will target the estimated 7 million new customers that could find coverage through health insurance exchanges. Insurers are expected to launch their PR blitz as soon as HealthCare.gov, the federal insurance exchange gateway, is fixed.
Stock analysts and insurance executives believe that the PR barrage will enable insurers to reach a vast multitude of consumers throughout the country, many of whom will be encouraged to enroll in state-based health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are designed to offer affordable access to health policies, but enrollment in these exchanges has been somewhat weak since they began operation on October 1 of this year. Low enrollment rates are linked to technical problems with the federal exchange network, but many insurers believe that the most problematic issue facing exchange enrollment rates has to do with low awareness.
Avoiding Obamacare can help insurers avoid the controversy surrounding the law
Kaiser Permanente has already begun engaging consumers concerning their participating in state-based insurance exchanges. The insurer has issued letters to potential new customers in Washington, telling these people that they can access federal subsidies and “hassle-free coverage benefits” if they enroll in the state’s exchange through the insurer itself. The insurer has avoided using the term Obamacare or mentioning the Affordable Care Act in general, which is more akin to a sensible business move rather than one associated with politics.
WellPoint has also begun to take an aggressive stance on enrollment in health insurance exchanges. The insurer has set aside some $150 million in funding for exchange-related activities, which includes marketing exchanges to potential customers. The insurer is also being careful to avoid making mention to Obamacare. This is becoming quite common among large insurance companies and it is linked to the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act among consumers.
The abundant controversy that surrounds the Affordable Care Act has made it quite unpopular with consumers in general. The unpopularity of the federal health care law has been compounded by the failures of the federal exchange network. The technical difficulties that have crippled HealthCare.gov have made it difficult for people to enroll in exchanges. Rather than fault the exchange network itself, however, many opt to place blame with the Affordable Care Act as a whole. As such, insurers associating with the federal law have met with significant resistance from consumers.
Insurers have found that relatively few people understand how exchanges are linked to the federal law, however, which means that omitting their mention of the law itself allows them to circumvent the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Doing so allows them to engage consumers that may be bitter of the law’s provisions. This practice is becoming increasingly common among large insurance providers.