The Hill Examines Rx Drug Plan Marketing Efforts
The Hill on Wednesday examined efforts by health insurers to market Medicare prescription drug plans. Aetna and PacifiCare Health Systems each will spend $50 million on marketing and operations for Medicare prescription drug plans, and Cigna will spend $40 million. UnitedHealth Group plans to spend $75 million.
In addition, Humana currently has spent $80 million on marketing. According to The Hill, health insurers hope that "elaborate marketing techniques could convince an otherwise skeptical senior to sign up for drug coverage."
Some of the marketing efforts include fliers, booklets, promotional tours, and broadcast and print ads. Many health insurers also have offered free gym memberships, discounts for acupuncture therapy and vision-care reimbursements.
Humana has launched a 300-city RV bus tour to promote Medicare prescription drug plans, and PacifiCare has developed an ad that features characters from the "I Love Lucy" television program. In addition, Aetna has launched eight different television ads and a direct-mail campaign to promote Medicare prescription drug plans.
Paul Ginsberg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, said that health insurers have spent large amounts of money on marketing Medicare prescription drug plans because "the product is so complex."
According to The Hill, many health insurers are "pitching how simple their plans are," and most of the marketing efforts feature individuals from a number of different ethnic groups to "try to entice seniors of all races" (McCormack, The Hill, 12/7).
Additional information on Medicare Part D is available online.