SOURCE: Harte-Hanks

Harte-Hanks

Harte-Hanks

June 20, 2013 08:00 ET

The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks: New Health Care Market Report Reveals the Potential Gap Between Consumer Pricing Expectations and Affordability

YARDLEY, PA--(Marketwired - Jun 20, 2013) - The Agency Inside® Harte-Hanks (theagencyinside.com), a customer engagement agency of Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS), announced today the release of its 2013 Consumer Health Care Market Report. The research analyzes consumer awareness of and attitudes toward the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the implications for health plan marketers who need to fully understand, segment and engage a new, uncharted health care market. The report highlights opportunities to mitigate risk and make the most of this new healthcare reality.

The Agency Inside surveyed over 600 consumers about factors such as motivation, channel consumption, affordability and likelihood to purchase. Participants were screened to ensure they were uninsured, subsidy-eligible, between the ages of 18 and 64 and influential in decisions about health care coverage. Data was weighted by state to approximate the proportion of the uninsured as per the U.S. Census and respondents represented a cross section of individuals and families. Analysis revealed that there are two consumer segments identified as most attractive to insurers among the subsidy eligible, uninsured: adults who rate their health (and that of their family members) as good, and young adults ages 18-39. Both key segments:

  • need education on the ACA,
  • are uniquely motivated, and
  • will require different marketing approaches in terms of content and channels.

"This research was conducted to help insurance providers gain a better understanding of an entirely new health care audience. This uninsured market is both an opportunity and a risk for insurance providers. If not approached correctly, the costs to serve could weaken payers financially," said Scott Overholt, vice president, healthcare markets, The Agency Inside. "We worked with a major health plan in Massachusetts during the state's health care reform in 2007 and experienced first-hand how this market responds. This experience, combined with our research, arms us with strategies that work to focus budgets on consumers who will keep risk portfolios in balance."

Perhaps the most significant finding from the research for health care providers is what these segments consider to be affordable. The average response to what monthly cost consumers expect to pay for insurance was $161. "Although insurers have yet to publish premiums, the expectations are that even with the subsidy, plans could still cost more than people are willing or able to pay," said Overholt. "Providers need to invest in a sustained campaign of education and persuasion in order to convince consumers that this is a necessary and worthwhile expenditure."

The Agency Inside will be hosting a free webinar discussing how insurers can approach this new environment on Wednesday, June 26th at 11:00am ET. To register for this informative one hour session with one of the industry's experts on health care reform strategies, go to http://response.harte-hanks.com/mktresearchwebinar13.

To download The Agency Inside's 2013 Consumer Health Care market report, go to http://response.harte-hanks.com/HC2013marketreport.

About The Agency Inside® Harte-Hanks
The Agency Inside® Harte-Hanks is a full-service, customer engagement agency specializing in creatively-inspired, data-obsessed relationship-marketing programs that generate value through contextual customer experiences. To learn more visit theagencyinside.com.

About Harte-Hanks®
Harte-Hanks, Inc. is a worldwide, direct and targeted marketing company that provides direct marketing services and shopper advertising opportunities to local, regional, national and international consumer and business-to-business marketers. Visit the Harte-Hanks Website at http://www.harte-hanks.com or call (800) 456-9748.

This document may contain trademarks that are owned or licensed by Harte-Hanks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including, without limitation, Harte-Hanks® and other names and marks. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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