eHealth Reinvents Itself – And the Medicare Shopping Experience
Imagine you're about to turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. You have a lot of questions and want to make sure you choose the right plan for your needs. But, you're also bombarded daily with confusing information and sales pitches from different insurance companies and brokers. It’s enough to raise your stress level during a time when you need to make one of the most important decisions of your life.
Well, that’s what it’s like to be a senior looking for the right Medicare plan, and it has turned Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period each fall into a nightmare for over 65 million beneficiaries.
The good news is that at eHealth, we are committed to making Medicare shopping easier and more transparent. We believe that everyone deserves to understand their options and choose the plan that's best for them. That's why we offer a variety of tools and resources to help you shop for Medicare, including:
- A personalized plan comparison tool that shows you how different plans stack up in terms of cost, coverage, and benefits
- A team of licensed insurance agents who can answer questions and help consumers choose the right plan
- Educational resources on Medicare
We're also working to change the way that Medicare plans are marketed. We believe that seniors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. That's why we took a look at our own marketing practices and decided to make a bold, positive change. We hope that the public and private sectors can come together in the best interests of American seniors and work together to change our industry for the better.
We believe that everyone deserves to have a positive Medicare shopping experience. That's why we're committed and have begun the journey to making Medicare shopping easier, more transparent, and more respectful.
It’s bold to make changes to the status quo, and we knew that we needed to create a brand that is open and honest with consumers. But before you can prescribe treatment, you need to diagnose the disease. Throughout 2023, we spent time with Medicare beneficiaries in listening sessions, focus groups, and through rigorous user testing.
Beneficiaries told us they were overwhelmed and disillusioned with the Medicare plan selection and enrollment process. They didn’t know who to trust and they didn’t have a reliable way to easily compare their options and find the right match for their needs.
What they want, they said, is transparent insight into their options, simple answers and explanations, and the confidence they are partnered with an unbiased, independent agent who wants a long-term relationship rather than a quick sale.
In response, we’ve transformed eHealth this year, with hundreds of changes from one end of the customer experience to the other. Everything was scrutinized, from major marketing campaigns to the smallest design elements on individual webpages.
We redesigned our website to place greater emphasis on plan comparisons, making it easier to see your options side by side and sort them with new, custom filters. We revamped and optimized the mobile website experience. We introduced a new step-by-step guided shopping option to make it easier to find the plans best suited to your specific needs. And across the board, we simplified our language and tossed out distractions and unnecessary elements to make the experience more intuitive.
Our new company spokeswoman, Eve, represents the new face of eHealth. To find her we carried out more than 170 auditions with real-time feedback from seniors to see who they connected with best. They told us they were sick of the same fear-inducing faces hectoring and yelling at them in Medicare TV ads. Eve is a younger woman that seniors told us combined just the right amount of compassion and expertise.
In one of the most direct applications of eHealth’s new approach, we conducted a real-time user experiment with two groups of seniors, inviting half to research and select a new Medicare health plan for themselves through eHealth, while the other half employed the usual methods of searching online or calling an agent or insurance company. Conducted multiple times, the experiment was filmed and became the new TV campaign demonstrating that those who used eHealth reported being 25% less stressed* than the others.
The TV campaign captures unscripted testimony from the seniors - not actors - who participated in the experiment. They describe how eHealth’s services helped them find better plans that can save them money and that cover prescription drugs they need but couldn’t afford in their current plan.
By leaning on their experience and insights, Medicare beneficiaries themselves are the guiding light of our brand transformation. By placing our trust in the people we love to serve, we hope they will do the same with us, leading to a brighter future for our company and setting a better example for the industry as a whole.
* Based on an eHealth study of 24 participants in July 2023.