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Will All Uninsureds Be Tempted by the Same Health Coverage?

Health InsuranceA report released by the US Department of Health and Human Services in mid-January showed that 2.2 million people had signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), selecting a plan on the health insurance exchanges. Young adults between the ages of 18-35 made up 24% of the total sign-ups on and state exchanges.

Though short of the Obama administration's projections (39% of starts needed to be in the 18-35 age range to ensure insurance companies would not raise premiums to compensate for disproportionate use by the seriously ill), this number still gives significant insight into the consumers your organization would likely be marketing to on the exchanges.

Who are the uninsured?

In the 2013 c2b Consumer Diagnostic, we found nearly a third of respondents, across all ages, reported having no health coverage (16%) or being self-insured (14%) — likely candidates for the exchanges. An additional 5% of respondents stated they still received coverage via their parents' plans, which by default places that 5% of respondents in the young adult demographic range and makes them likely targets for a provider marketing via the exchanges. This does not even include consumers whose employers decide to transition its employees to the exchanges.

If we assume these percentages to be close to actual percentages across the United States (a population of 313.9 million, according to the 2012 US Census), you're looking at 109.9 million prospective exchange-shopping clients.

Psychographic segmentation can help you figure out uninsureds' motivators.

We found that the two psychographic segments most likely to be among the uninsured — Balance Seekers and Willful Endurers — also have the lowest average ages among adults age 18+.

Balance Seekers, with a mean age of 43.57 years, skew strongly female.

They are highly educated and tend to be politically moderate, although they are among the most critical of the segments regarding the health insurance exchanges. Twenty-two percent of Balance Seekers are uninsured and see themselves as self-sufficient when it comes to maintaining health or making health care decisions.

They exhibit proactive lifestyle behaviors, but are curiously less likely than most other segments to go for regular checkups with a primary care provider. They prefer to be presented with options over being given directions. They also report being influenced most often by information they find on the Internet and through discussions with family and friends, making Balance Seekers a likely target audience for social and other new media campaigns.

Willful Endurers, the youngest of the five psychographic segments, have an average age of 42.11 years and are more likely to be male and reactive rather than proactive regarding health and wellness.

As a group, Willful Endurers are less educated then other segments. They tend to be more left-leaning than others and are highly supportive of the ACA, though they report the least awareness of its provisions. Unlike Balance Seekers, they do not tend to exhibit proactive healthy lifestyle choices and many consider themselves "couch potatoes." They tend to be influenced less often than Balance Seekers by health information found on the Internet.

Look for the commonalities — they're there, but you must dig for them.

Though these segments have their own motivations and beliefs their top four valued attributes (out of 33 attributes measured in the c2b Consumer Diagnostic) in a health plan are exactly the same:

  • Annual premium is reasonable (Balance Seekers 91%, Willful Endurers 78%)
  • Co-pay is reasonable (Balance Seekers 91%, Willful Endurers 77%)
  • Offers medical coverage options that meet my needs (Balance Seekers 90%, Willful Endurers 78%)
  • Getting needed care without delays (Balance Seekers 90%, Willful Endurers 77%)

The meaning of “reasonable” with regard to premiums and copays is different between Balance Seekers and Willful Endurers, and the c2b Consumer Diagnostic offers a premium price sensitivity analysis among the psychographic segments (as well as for many demographic and socioeconomic segments).

Interestingly, there is a stronger opportunity for loyalty-based marketing with Willful Endurers than Balance Seekers.

33% of Willful Endurers stated that they maintained ties with their first insurance provider, whereas only 22% of Balance Seekers reported this to be the case (lowest among all the psychographic segments).

How you communicate with each segment will differ, as messaging and media preferences vary among the psychographic segments. How you influence a segment to choose your health plan (acquisition), stay loyal to your health plan (retention) or drive positive behavior change (e.g., medication compliance) will depend upon segment-specific language and propositions.

c2b solutions will be presenting insights on health care consumers and its proprietary psychographic segmentation model at the World Congress’ 6th Annual Leadership Summit on “Consumerism Through Health Plan Innovation,” on March 11, 2014 in Orlando Florida.

consumerism through health plan innovation

Readers of our articles get a special discount off the price of attendance for this conference. Use the code DDP563 when registering (online or via phone) and you will receive a $300 discount.

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


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