What Influences "Willful Endurers" to Buy Health Insurance? (Part 1 of 5)
PART 1 OF 5
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want,
drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”
Mark Twain authored those words, but the sentiment sounds like something a Willful Endurer might say. We know based on our psychographic segmentation model that Willful Endurers live in the now, believing that there are more important things to focus on than improving their health for the future.
That attitude is reflected by the fact that 18 percent of Willful Endurers do not have health insurance. Willful Endurers are the least likely of the five c2b solutions’ five psychographic segments to be covered by health insurance. So how can health insurers break through to a segment that avoids going to the doctor except when they absolutely must?
▶ Understanding Willful Endurers’ Attitudes toward Health Insurance
Before we dig deeper into what Willful Endurers think about health insurance, it helps to understand what they think about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and healthcare reform in general.
Willful Endurers live in the now, believing that there are more important things to focus on than improving their health for the future.
According to c2b solutions’ annual study of healthcare consumers, Willful Endurers are more likely than other segments to take an ambivalent stance on the ACA, with 22 percent indicating that they neither support nor oppose the Act. Not surprisingly, 34 percent also agreed with the statement, “I don’t have to worry about the Affordable Care Act/healthcare reform today; I’ll worry about this when I have to.”
The good news? Strangely enough, a statistically larger number of Willful Endurers—33 percent—believe that healthcare reform will make them “far more accountable” for their health than Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers and Direction Takers.
Moving on to their beliefs and expectations about health insurance plans, it’s important to understand that 17 percent of Willful Endurers switched health insurance companies or plan options in 2015—a statistically larger percentage than Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers and Direction Takers.
They were also more likely than all other segments to say that negative media coverage of a health insurance company influenced their decision to make a switch.
Why? According to the survey, Willful Endurers were more likely than all other c2b psychographic segments to cite issues related to the health insurance company failing to cover claims, prescription medications or medical procedures. In addition, Willful Endurers noted a belief that the drive for profits supersedes a health insurance company’s concern over the health and wellbeing of its customers. Willful Endurers, by nature, harbor institutional suspicions to a greater degree than do other segments. And if that’s not enough, they were also more likely than all other segments to say that negative media coverage of a health insurance company influenced their decision to make a switch.
▶ Health Insurance Marketing that Engages Willful Endurers
The word “stubborn” may come to mind when you think of Willful Endurers. After all, this segment is the least likely to change habits or invest in the future. But that doesn’t mean they are an impossible segment to reach. You just need to understand their attitudes regarding health and wellness and develop marketing tactics and health insurance plans that speak to their unique expectations and needs.
For example, 21 percent of Willful Endurers purchased their health insurance plans through the federal exchange—a higher percentage than all other segments. If your company doesn’t have plans on the exchange, you’re unlikely to connect with nearly one quarter of Willful Endurers.
In addition, since they tend to focus on perceived value of coverage, particularly in terms of co-pays, you need to emphasize affordability and features when communicating with this segment. It’s also clear that Willful Endurers are influenced by media or even their own doctor’s view of the insurance provider, you need to establish trust with prospects and customers early on to combat this tendency. Most importantly, because Willful Endurers live in the “here and now,” your value proposition must establish how they will immediately benefit from health insurance coverage -- how do they benefit today?
Getting it right is critical. While 27 percent of the general population are Willful Endurers, one of the most desirable demographics for health insurers—Millennials—eclipse that average at 43 percent. This means that you need to consider a wide range of channels for your health insurance marketing to ensure that you’re sharing the right messages wherever this diverse Willful Endurer audience wants to find you. What do you need to change in your health insurance marketing to drive Willful Endurer engagement?