Making Affordable Health Care Available Via the Internet

by Gabriella Sannino on February 20, 2009

With medical costs ever spiraling upward, the need for competitively priced health insurance has never been greater.  Traditionally, people could count on their employer to provide health insurance coverage for the employee as well as their dependants.  As costs continue to climb, employers have been forced to reduce or eliminate the coverage for the employee’s dependants and increase the employee’s contribution towards health care insurance coverage.

With the advent of health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), preferred provider organizations (PPO’s) and a plethora of other health insurance providers, the need to effectively and efficiently market health care plans to prospective clients has never been more acute.  The ability to maximize target market exposure and saturation is tantamount to remaining competitive in the industry.  The Internet provides a readily accessible tool that provides maximum market exposure at a minimal cost; this is made possible largely with search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization functions when a client works in collaboration with an SEO service company to produce a list of “keywords” that are imbedded in and distributed throughout text (articles, blogs, print advertisements, multi-media advertisements, etc.).  The various SEO copywriters, online marketing specialists, website content writers, medical SEO copywriters and consultants structure the text and keywords to target potential clients and recruit professional staff.  The keywords can be either very general or very specific, and can include specific employers and/or occupations among other things.

When the prospective client and/or employee seeking information enters one of these targeted keywords into the search engine, they are directed to links and/or websites that can provide them with contact information, plan highlights and comparative cost/benefit information.  This results in maximum market exposure to the widest possible demographic at a minimized recurring cost.  It also allows for changes in target demographic, health care coverage plan descriptors and advertising focus at a minimal expenditure of time, energy and cost.  With respect to recruiting health care providers, the site can serve to advertise professional as well as employee benefits, current vacancies, and provide the prospective employee with human resources/recruitment contact information.

A good example of how SEO can benefit health insurance providers is the small business owner who either wants to find health care coverage for their employees and their dependants, or who already has an existing health insurance carrier, but the monthly premiums have made retaining that provider cost-prohibitive.  By accessing multiple health insurance companies and/or insurance brokers, they can quickly do a comparison-type search for the company that will provide the maximum level of desired coverage at the most affordable rate given the size of their company and the number of people who would be insured.

Combining multiple types of insurance (health, dental, vision, accidental death & dismemberment, life, etc.) under one carrier or broker may enable the employer to further reduce the costs of the individual health care coverage or the sum total cost of all the different insurances for their company.

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