Health Care Marketing and Obamacare

Obamacare, Affordable Care Act – Call it what you will, but it’s virtually impossible to go a single day without hearing about it.

The Affordable Care Act is the subject of a nationwide marketing and education campaign aimed at the 48 million Americans who are currently uninsured.

Steering Americans to, and educating them about, the new health care marketplaces will take time, energy and considerable financial resources. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press secretary, Fabien Levy, “The campaign will use a range of communications tactics, with an emphasis on paid media and digital outreach, to make the uninsured aware of the marketplace and the health insurance options available to them.”

In August, the White House also met with actors, including Jennifer Hudson, Amy Poehler and Kal Penn, to discuss how they may be able to help educate younger Americans between the age of 18 – 35 who may not think they need health care insurance. This group is said to be critical to the new system because signing up young and healthy individuals will balance out the risk of insuring the elderly, the sick and those with pre-existing conditions.

However, the federal government isn’t the only entity that is interested in educating the public about the Affordable Care Act. Various health care providers have developed marketing strategies to compete for the business of newly-insured patients. On the flipside, political action groups opposed to Obamacare have run five times as many TV ads as the federal government has in its own marketing push.

As the number of people enrolled in health care insurance grows, so will the interest in gaining their business. Insurers, regional hospitals, standalone urgent care centers, and walk-in clinics are all increasing their health care marketing budgets.

Being bombarded with digital, broadcast and print communications on various aspects of the same topic brings one question to mind.  Will all of this new advertisement and publicity help inform the public, or simply confuse people about their options?

The verdict is still out. What we do know from experience is that it will take health care organizations more and more spending on marketing to have their message stand out and innovative marketing strategies that truly resonate with their audiences. Who knows, someone may discover the next great health care guerilla marketing strategy. Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

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