While the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased digital engagement with consumers during the last Annual Election Period (AEP), regional Medicare Advantage plans that thrive on community events and other in-person communications look forward to returning to a more normal course of business this fall. During a session of the 12th Annual Medicare Market Innovations Forum, hosted July 13 and 14 online by Strategic Solutions Network, LLC, two such plans discussed how they tailored their omnichannel approaches to Medicare marketing and how those strategies will evolve for the 2022 AEP that begins in October.
In Michigan, where Health Alliance Plan (HAP) serves about 75,000 MA lives, a lengthy lockdown period and the state’s battleground positioning in the presidential election made for a “whirlwind” AEP that called for a reduction in TV and direct mail strategies, recalled Jennifer Rossbach, marketing manager for consumer retail. “There was no room in the air space for an omnichannel approach,” she said. “We thought we could actually get more out of our digital spaces, but even there the digital space was being overrun by the political campaigns and COVID.” The insurer heavily relies on in-person engagement, but COVID restrictions in the state forced the plan to “go virtual” during the AEP, such as through Facebook Live events and Zoom meetings.