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Prepare your strategy for the health insurance open enrollment season

August 2015

With the uninsured rate dropping, the federal and state exchanges running smoothly, and the non-compliance tax penalty (aka “individual shared responsibility payment”) growing, this year’s Open Enrollment is set to be a busy one for health insurance advertisers.

You can expect and prepare for greater competition in this year’s federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there are 25% more insurers participating in the Marketplace in 2015 than in 2014. Also, there is an average of 40 plans available per county (including catastrophic plans); that’s a 33% increase from last year. Given this competitive field, it’s important to have clear messaging that helps you stand out in a crowd.

In addition, consumers are doing online research to help them make informed decisions about their health insurance options. This trend is reflected in how leading healthcare searches change from exchange-related searches at the beginning of the enrollment period to more branded searches in the middle and end of the period. You have an opportunity to leverage your campaigns to help consumers understand and compare the plans and services you’re offering.

For Medicare enrollments, the highest search volume is during the annual open enrollment for all current subscribers. Medicare advertisers should plan their campaigns and budgets primarily for this enrollment from October 15 to December 7. They can also plan for a smaller general enrollment period for new subscribers that runs from January 1 to March 31. In planning and tailoring Medicare campaigns, it’s important to focus them on both seniors and their caregivers. Seniors like the ability to choose from a wide range of Medicare plans, but find it frustrating and difficult to compare them. Caregivers, on the other hand, are looking for health information for others, with 31% of caregivers having gone online to find health insurance information.

Whether you’re targeting the ACA, Medicare enrollments, or both, view our presentation above or download it to learn more to help you gear up for the health insurance open enrollment periods. For other tips and trends, check out our featured industry and seasonal insights on the Bing Ads blog.