5 Tips for Marketing Medicare Advantage Plans to Veterans
We all know 2023 was another strong year for Medicare Advantage enrollment growth, as over 30 million people are now enrolled in a plan. As competition heats up, plans are looking for new ways to grow market share. One important and often overlooked opportunity is addressing the specific health insurance needs of military veterans.
Many veterans believe they are not eligible or do not need Medicare coverage. Yet, the Veterans Administration (VA) encourages beneficiaries 65 and older to also enroll in Medicare to give vets access to care outside of the 1,298 VA facilities in the U.S. Even better than Original Medicare, vets can receive important routine health care and additional benefits tailored to their needs, and closer to home with a well-designed Medicare Advantage plan.
Here are 5 tips to consider when marketing to veterans:
Design a plan that complements existing VA benefits.
Do the research to truly understand what benefits are provided for veterans through the VA. Talk with veterans within your company and within your service area to gain insight into their needs and key challenges. Create a Medicare Advantage plan that complements their VA coverage.
The plan should include primary care and specialist visits outside of VA facilities and closer to the veteran’s home. Dental, vision, hearing, mental health and substance-use-treatment benefits add real value and may not be covered by the VA. When designing a plan geared to Medicare-eligible veterans, it’s important to consider the total coverage provided by your plan and the VA. Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans do not conflict with VA benefits.
Create compelling and motivating communications.
Once you’ve designed a Medicare plan that appeals to veterans, the next challenge is to communicate it in a convincing way. Using photos, icons and copy that show you understand veterans help break through the clutter and illustrate how the plan will be beneficial.
The message should reassure veterans that they are indeed entitled to Medicare benefits and that the VA encourages them to enroll as soon as they are eligible.
To enhance the credibility of your offering, you may want to consider a spokesperson who is highly recognized and respected in the veteran community. This could be a well-known veteran or a celebrity who is a known advocate for veterans. Check out the work we did for Clover Health featuring veteran and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rocky Bleier.
Develop a targeted direct mail list strategy.
Since veterans are a highly targeted audience, direct mail is an efficient channel to reach the right people at the right time. It’s crucial to use a data provider with the experience and know-how to build a precisely targeted list.
There are a number of considerations in building an effective prospect list, including geography, age, concentration of veterans in your service area, and where veterans live relative to the nearest VA facilities.
Use an integrated media strategy.
Drive lead volume by executing an integrated media strategy that could include direct mail, digital advertising and broadcast and cable TV. Provide multiple opportunities to ensure veterans see your message and are educated about the value of your plan.
Create confidence with knowledgeable representatives.
Veterans trust other veterans. If it’s possible, hire veterans to staff your call center. At minimum, make sure the people who answer the phones are fully aware of how the VA works, where the gaps are and how an MA plan can provide critical additional coverage. Gaining the trust of veteran prospects is crucial, so a highly trained staff can go a long way toward a successful campaign.