3 Key Themes in Age-In Campaigns

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Medicare marketers sending age-in campaigns to new or soon-to-be eligible Medicare beneficiaries focused on three key themes: information, visualization, and celebration.

Information Provides Support

With countless plans to choose from and annually changing guidelines, insurers often fell back on simplifying Medicare enrollment. Similar to the 2020 Annual Election Period Trends, marketers provided digital resource guides, FAQs, and pricing information to help recipients understand their impending decision and make a good choice. Insurers also conveyed that customers should feel supported, rather than alone, as they navigate the process.

While most Baby Boomers report having Medicare, only 19% have researched their coverage options, according to research from Mintel Reports US, Baby Boomers and Health, 2020. Insurers often relied on resource guides to trigger the research process, but marketers must also use language that aligns with Boomers’ top priorities, like money, to boost motivation.

For example, Aetna directed recipients to a free Medicare guidebook online to help them navigate their questions about enrollment.

Similarly, Care N’ Care emphasized that new beneficiaries should not go about the process alone and promoted resources through a vanity URL.

Humana highlighted new enrollees’ common questions, but personalized the mailer by featuring in-network doctors of a specific region that recipients may recognize.

Facebook was also a common means of communication. Insurers, including Florida Blue, AARP, and Cigna, targeted seniors turning 65 through paid Facebook ads to direct them to online resource centers and guides.

Florida Blue included the answers to some common questions in a mailer, rather than simply linking to a guide that shares comprehensive details.

Similar to AEP campaigns, several insurers, such as Summa Care, WellCare, and Health Net, highlighted $0 premiums and copays to emphasize how affordable plans can be.

Convenience was a major selling point, with member companies of BlueCross BlueShield contacting existing customers and focusing on the convenience of staying within their network.

COVID-19 was still top of mind for some providers. Anthem and Empire BlueCross BlueShield alluded to COVID-19 by stating the need for healthcare is “more important than ever,” especially in “these challenging times.”

UnitedHealthcare and Aetna reached out to individuals retiring later than 65 and provided information on how it impacts Medicare enrollment.

Eye-Catching Visualization

Insurers leveraged calendars, charts, and timelines to showcase the initial enrollment period parameters. These visualizations consolidated and drew the eye to time-sensitive information, while also breaking up text-heavy mailers.

Marketers used general, rather than personalized, templates that could be applied to people turning 65 throughout the year.

Marketers can take a page from Aetna, which extended the use of charts to explain the different parts of Medicare by using engaging visuals for other complex topics, such as annual and special enrollment periods.

UnitedHealthcare started its mailers with a casual greeting and the most critical information beneficiaries need to know about enrollment, such as a personalized timeline and plan acceptance information.

UnitedHealthcare also engaged prospects through email polls and linked resources.

Milestone Celebration

Age-in Medicare enrollment is rooted in the celebration of turning 65 and retiring, and many insurers aligned themselves to the milestone. Campaigns shared birthday wishes and featured pictures of happy seniors, but then often followed with a mention of the perceived stress that comes with Medicare. Mintel research found that seniors, especially 65-year-olds, largely feel positive about this new life stage, and brands should focus on empowerment rather than the burden of choosing healthcare.

Highmark and Kaiser Permanente celebrated the “milestone” of turning 65 and featured photos associated with the joys of retirement alongside standard resources.

Wisconsin Physicians Service shared in the excitement of this notable birthday and outlined how it keeps the milestone as stress-free as possible.

UnitedHealthcare sent birthday cards to remind prospects that there is time left to enroll in a plan.

Florida Blue conveyed to beneficiaries that they could enjoy their birthday knowing they have secured Medicare coverage.

To make sure recipients were prepared for the shift after 65, insurers started communications weeks, months, or a year before a recipient’s 65th birthday to encourage them to get ahead and start the research process.

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