Connecticut State Run HIX to Offer Retail Sites for Enrollment that Resemble Apple Stores

by Patrick Riley 26 Jul 2013
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In  Connecticut, which has elected to run its own health insurance exchange (HIX) they are very serious about encouraging their citizens to enroll. Planning includes a traditional comprehensive media plan with television, radio, bus-wraps, print, and out-of-home or billoards. But, they also have done some very innovative planning beyond a Mad Man's advertising agency mind set. And they readily admit copying perhaps the best known brand in the world, Apple, Inc.

Apple Store

What they are using is both smart and practical. Practical in the sense that most prelimiinary tests of online enrollment shows that a majority of test subjects elect to opt out of an online experience and either dial their respective call-center for more information or look to speak face-to-face with a healthcare "navigator."

Using this knowledge Connecticut state planners will open 4 stores by mide August and another 5 before January 1, 2014. The stores are conceived as Steve Jobs envisioned making the customer experience one that answers all buyer questions using, and you guessed it, a health insurance "Genius Bar." The store will offer classes, and approach the sale of health insurance like Apple builds customer loyalty, by talking with their cusomers and first, answer their questions, and then fixing their problems.

Being good marketers they have segmented their market into three (3) target groups. The first, will be an expanded Medicaid populaiton, which could add some projected 75,000 new enrollees. The second group is families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level or roughly $46,000 a year for a single person and $92,400 for a family of four. The last market segment is the SHOP option or small businesses with one to 50 employees.

As we get closer to October 1, our prediction is that many more states will take a very hard look at what Connecticut is doing and quickly try to catch up. Bring your iPad.

Please anticipate more from me on this topic and look for up-to-date information from Frost & Sullivan about HIX. I welcome comments and feedback below.

Follow me on Twitter to learn more about this subject and other Connected Health topics @Patrick_FrostHC

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