In the vast majority of US states, the open enrollment period for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act starts on November 1, and runs for at least six weeks. As health insurance providers look to ramp-up marketing efforts, geo-fencing can deliver a lot of benefits to those marketing campaigns. Geo-fencing can ensure that your ads are not only seen by the right consumers, but the right consumers in the right places at the right time. Below, you will find a number of tips for your geo-fencing marketing during open enrollment.
What is Geo-Fencing?
Geo-fencing is the practice of using geographic boundaries to control where your ads and content are visible to consumers. By establishing geographic boundaries for your ads, you have greater control over where your ads are seen by those it is most relevant too. Conversely, you can also ensure you aren’t paying for your ads and content to be visible to those with no interest or to whom the content is irrelevant. So, how can you use geo-fencing to ensure your open enrollment ads and content appear for the right consumers at the right time?
Tip#1 – Not All States have the Same Dates
First and foremost, it is important to understand that the open enrollment period of November 1st to December 15th is a federally established timeline. Certain states have opted to give consumers a longer period of time in which to compare various plans and purchase new health insurance coverage if they so choose. While 44 states follow the exact federal government timeline, six states and the federal district do not:
If you set up geo-fencing in these areas that ends your ad and content push on December 15, 2019, you will miss out on a lot of chances to connect with consumers in need. Rhode Island and Minnesota have a deadline of December 23, 2019. California and Colorado close the window on January 15, 2020. Massachusetts ends the window on January 23, 2020. New York and Washington DC close the window on January 31, 2020.
Read More: eBook: Health Insurance Overview
Tip#2 – Certain Plans are Popular in Multiple States
While the coverage providers vary from one state to the next, the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period does offer consumers with four basic types of plans. These plans are broken down into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum coverage levels. Bronze levels split the burden with 60% of healthcare costs paid for by the insurance company and the consumer covering the remaining 40%. At the other end, Platinum plans come with 90% cost coverage by the insurance company and 10% from the consumer.
While all four types of plans are available in most states, they are not equally popular across state lines. The Platinum plans have the highest monthly premiums and are popular with those who require a lot of care and don’t want to deal with constant out-of-pocket costs. You can use this to tailor your content and showcase your ads in the states where those Platinum plans are the most popular. The Platinum plan is the most popular in California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Georgia, and sales of those plans in these five states represent 60% of all Platinum plans sold in the United States.
Tip#3 – Prices Will Rise or Fall Depending on Region
Finally, you can use geo-fencing in your open enrollment marketing to ensure your ads and content are visible to those depending on the need to adjust healthcare expenses. In states and regions where rates are expected to fall, there could be a significant increase in activity during open enrollment as those consumers look to switch to more affordable plans. Conversely, states with rising costs could see people opting to forgo health insurance (the Individual Mandate is now defunct, so there’s no penalty for doing so) or sticking with their current plan for a lack of better alternatives.
States like North Carolina will actually see a 5.5% decrease in Blue Cross-Blue Shield plans in 2020, making it one example of a state health insurance providers could target open enrollment marketing toward.