Healthcare Coverage Open Enrollment Season: 5 Areas of Opportunity for Engaging Millennials

With open enrollment for healthcare coverage encroaching on November 1, we’re offering a three-part series on best practices for engaging millennials – the nation’s largest living generation.

Health insurers looking to reach millennials must address their privacy concerns, grant easy access to information across a variety of relevant formats, and highlight a focus on cost-effective care. The young demand options and a personalized experience across the entire process; this applies not only to healthcare plans but to all aspects of their lives.

More specifically, there are five key areas of opportunity for insurers to consider when it comes to engaging millennials leading into November:

1. Explore sub-branding

This one isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s probably the most important consideration. Startups are jumping into regulated industries and making bold leaps ahead of established regulations in a way that captures the attention, as well as, the hearts and minds of the “young and invincible.” Consider Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, designed to take on Betterment and Wealthfront, which caters to youth through investment automation. Schwab understood there was a segmentation threat and designed a service directly targeted to this generation.

2. Micro-segment

It sounds simple, however, it’s easier to roll out one larger strategy at larger companies instead of following an account-based marketing approach. Insurers must create a unique way to capture the attention of the “young and invincible” with a segmented marketing strategy. Resist the urge to follow a cookie-cutter marketing approach for all generations. Rely on data to create intelligent, segmented marketing plans by age, geographic, and demographic differences instead. For example, Zombie Health Plans from Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) created a zombie themed microsite that attracted visitors in an entertaining way. Such an approach made it easier for younger audiences to absorb the benefits of new healthcare rules; including pre-existing conditions, changes, and tax credits; while helping them determine a best-fit plan. It was a simple, effective, and yet fun way to share information and empower youth to make healthcare decisions for their individual needs.

3. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to use emotion as an engagement tool

Yes, this tired cliché is still an important aspect of marketing. In today’s world of short attention spans, marketing strategies must include a way to stand out from the crowd. For example, the White House and Funny or Die created a repository of videos on healthcare information. Each video is geared toward explaining a specific aspect of coverage and its importance while relaying the information in an entertaining way. These videos eventually became the #1 referral source to

4. Make it easy for them to find information and keep it digestible

Finding the necessary information to make informed business decisions is time-consuming and tedious. Our target audience is constantly busy. They rely on their phones to shop, gather information, and everything in-between while juggling other responsibilities. One of the most effective ways to succeed in customer acquisition is to simply make it easy for individuals to find your business and the specific information they are seeking. The “young and invincible” greatly value time and convenience. With this in mind, make your company’s information detailed, digestible, and easily accessible to youth via mobile-friendly sites.

5. Use data to improve consumer experience

By looking at internal data, ranging from call logs to website traffic, health insurers can identify which trends lead to consumer complaints and, eventually, the loss of clientele. These types of insights can help drive consumer experience improvements that, in turn, improve word of mouth marketing and generate customer retention.

Today’s healthcare coverage consumer has a choice and insurers mustn’t lose sight of this reality. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, in which the “young and invincible” and consumers at-large are seeking user-friendly, simple experiences, insurers must focus on meeting customers on their terms. As open enrollment season approaches, insurers must take an audience-specific approach to engaging consumers – particularly millennials – and keep the five areas of opportunity listed above top of mind.

In part two of our series on engaging millennials during open enrollment season, we’ll take a look at a handful of healthcare organizations that are on fleek when it comes to engaging millennials.

Katie McGraw
Vice President


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