inancial professionals who like the idea of piggybacking on HealthCare.gov advertising spending may have a busy summer.
Managers of HealthCare.gov started with $50 million to spend on promoting major program changes, and, as of May 31, they had spent only about $4 million of that total on digital ads, according to Pathmatics.
Pathmatics is a company that gathers data on web advertising by searching for ads online. The company also has created a panel of thousands of ordinary web users, and it tracks the ads the panel members see.
Pathmatics did not provide figures on HealthCare.gov’s broadcast, print or outdoor advertising spending, but its analysts say the organization may still have as much as $46 million in unspent ad money.
A review of iSpot.tv, a TV ad tracking service, suggests that HealthCare.gov managers have run few or no TV ads.
The Affordable Care Act exchange program gives people a way to use federal premium tax credit subsidies to buy commercial health coverage online.
HealthCare.gov provides ACA public health insurance exchange services for the residents of 38 states.
The HealthCare.gov open enrollment period, or time when people can buy coverage without showing they have what the government classifies as a good reason to be shopping for coverage, has extended from Nov. 1 to about Dec. 15 in recent years.
This year, the administration of President Joe Biden decided to create a broad special enrollment period that will last until Aug. 15, in an effort to help people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new federal COVID-19 relief law, the American Rescue Plan Act, provides a big increase in premium subsidy tax credits for ACA exchange plan users.
Federal officials have estimated that the new subsidies could help about 9 million uninsured people pay for exchange plan coverage.
The Congressional Budget Office predicted in February that exchange program enrollment period and subsidy changes would help the exchanges get about 1.5 million in additional people covered.
Only about 1 million people have signed up for coverage since the long new special enrollment period started.
HealthCare.gov now has an opportunity use its $46 million million in unspent marketing cash to ramp up special enrollment period enrollment, according to Pathmatics. The firm stated that Heathcare.gov managers seem to have focused ad spending on social media and video campaigns.
Here’s how much Pathmatics believes the organization has spent on four types of digital advertising:
- Instagram: $2.1 million
- Desktop Videos: $661,000
- Display Ads: $618,000
- Mobile Display Ads: $238,000
What It Means
For agents, brokers and insurers, HealthCare.gov and state-based ACA public exchange programs are examples of financial services distributors that post detailed information about their marketing campaigns.
Issuers of Medicare plans, annuities, life insurance and other products can use HealthCare.gov and Covered California data to benchmark their own advertising and marketing efforts.
HealthCare.gov advertising could also be important because, like the Aflac Duck and Allstate’s Mayhem campaign, it may have the muscle to shape how consumers think about a wide range of financial services.
In some cases, insurance marketers may be able to boost sales by designing campaigns that complement the big summer HealthCare.gov campaign, or by making intentional efforts to respond to and compete against HealthCare.gov.