Health insurers sending more acquisition mail

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Acquisition direct mail to individuals and coming from health insurers increased by 18% between April 2008 and March 2009, according to market intelligence firm Mintel Comperemedia.

As Congress crafts health insurance reform proposals, the increase in acquisition mail could be in anticipation of government reform, according to Daniel Hayes, VP, insurance services at Mintel.

Health insurers “realize that government reform will likely mean increased competition, so insurers are trying to raise the public's awareness of their plans, benefits and belief systems," said Hayes, in a statement.

Mintel Comperemedia's direct mail database shows health insurers positioning themselves as high quality and focused on the individual, not just the employer. For example, United Healthcare advertises affordability and choice in its new UnitedHealthOne brand, while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia's SmartSense plan focuses on low costs for the unemployed. Kaiser Permanente's direct mail emphasizes general health and wellbeing.

"Health insurers are truly focusing on the individuals they cover,” said Hayes. “With tailored new products and customized marketing messages, insurers are trying to win consumers' confidence, so they can win their business, too." 

In a recent survey of consumers' attitudes toward health insurance, 92% of respondents felt they should be able to obtain coverage from whichever company they want, and 69% think the federal government should provide tax credits so people can buy health insurance individually.

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