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What Influences Direction Takers to Buy Health Insurance? (Part 5 of 5)




Giving advice is easy; taking advice is hard.

You might think, therefore, that the final psychographic segment defined by c2b solutions—Direction Takers—would be a highly desirable audience for health insurance marketing. Don’t jump to that conclusion too quickly.

While this segment does value, and defers to, the expertise and credentials of healthcare professionals and therefore look for their guidance on matters related to health and wellness, even Direction Takers struggle to follow physicians’ advice. They’re Direction Takers not Direction Followers.

Let’s take a look at what influences this cohort and how health insurance companies can influence Direction Takers looking to purchase health insurance plans.


▶ Guidance Alone Won’t Motivate Action

Only 13 percent of the general population are Direction Takers, but they certainly make use of the healthcare system. The doctor is the authority, so they are more likely to go to the doctor at the first sign of a health concern. Despite this higher utilization of the healthcare system, however, Direction Takers often find it difficult to comply with the health-related instructions they receive. They need to know how to fit healthcare behaviors into their daily routines.

changes-in-publics-overall-view-of-ACA-since-its-passage-in-2010.pngLet’s start with how they feel about the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform.

According to c2b solutions’ research, 38 percent of Direction Takers either fully or somewhat support the Affordable Care Act and 33 percent either fully or somewhat oppose it. Interestingly, 14 percent indicated they didn’t know—a statistically significant difference from Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers and Self Achievers.

When asked about the ACA’s impact on access to care and personal health behaviors, 20 percent had no opinion on access to care and 22 percent responded likewise about personal health behaviors—both statistically significant variations compared to the other four segments. So what do they have opinions on?

44 percent are happy with the Affordable Care Act with regard to coverage for pre-existing health conditions.

40 percent are also satisfied with increased access to healthcare for more people.

43 percent said that healthcare is a right and that government should ensure everyone is provided care.

Yet, despite these positive notes, 49 percent reported feeling concerned that the government—not doctors—would be making decisions about patient care under the Affordable Care Act. This apprehension is not surprising given the fact that Direction Takers trust their healthcare providers above all others. And there are other signs of dissatisfaction:

39 percent said the government has no business in their healthcare.

36 percent report frustration with the complexity of regulations and requirements under the Affordable Care Act

36 percent also have concerns that healthcare reform will lead reduced care quality and higher costs for less healthy individuals

Of course, few Direction Takers rely on health insurance plans purchased through the federal or state exchanges. While 93 percent of them have insurance, only 20 percent visited the health insurance marketplaces at all, with 10 percent actually purchasing health insurance plans through an exchange.

doctor_communication.jpgIn general, 68 percent were extremely or very satisfied with their insurance and nearly half said they were extremely or very likely to recommend their health insurance company to others. Reflecting these numbers, 84 percent did not switch insurance—a statistically significant variation from Balance Seekers, Willful Endurers and Self Achievers.  

It’s also notable that when asked if they would look for a new employer if they were required to buy health insurance on a federal or state exchange, 40 percent said the situation didn’t apply to them. Not only is this a statistically significant variation to all other segments, but it could suggest that many Direction Takers have Medicare or Medicaid coverage.

In order to break through to Direction Takers with health insurance marketing, you need to address their preferences and beliefs. What do they want? Seventy-four percent of Direction Takers strongly agree or agree that health insurance plans should use incentives to motivate healthy behaviors.


▶ Money talks

Regarding incentives from a health insurance company for healthy behaviors, 51 percent of Direction Takers would like a discount off health insurance premiums; 47 percent would like a way to earn back money spent on deductibles and 25 percent would like a stipend added to their paycheck.

Likewise, when it comes to attributes that Direction Takers look for in a health insurance plan, your marketing needs to show costs and coverage in a favorable light because reasonable co-pays and annual premiums ranks as two of the top five desirable attributes of health insurance plans.

Direction Takers look for value and greatly
appreciate value-added offerings, feeling that they are “gaming the system” by squeezing extras out of product or service offerings.

Direction Takers are very transactional in their approach to healthcare. They look for value and greatly appreciate value-added offerings, feeling that they are “gaming the system” by squeezing extras out of product or service offerings. They also believe in reciprocity: If a healthcare provider or insurance company lives up to its promises, Direction Takers will typically live up to their end of the bargain.

Trust also ranks high—and given the value that Direction Takers place on their healthcare providers’ opinions, your marketing likely needs to tap into that trusted source to champion your health insurance plans with this psychographic segment.

Brent Walker will be be speaking on a panel about trends and opportunities in healthcare consumerism at the BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference, taking place Dec. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information.


Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change


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