As the 2020 Open Enrollment Period nears, the effects of COVID-19 still loom large over the health insurance market. An estimated 5.4 million Americans became uninsured due to job loss from February to May, making this one of the largest drops in coverage in years. Of those losses, 46% occurred in just five states. Residents of California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Carolina were the hardest hit—all of which have large populations of racial and ethnic minorities.
While “we’re all in this together” is a popular refrain, the pandemic and its effects (such as hospitalizations and job losses) have disproportionately impacted minorities. That means your multicultural marketing strategy must also address these challenges to get people from those communities to enroll in health insurance coverage.
Simply updating last year’s marketing materials won’t help you connect with minorities who need to know you understand their unique needs. That’s why we’ve come up with some key messages you’ll want to include in your multicultural health insurance marketing campaigns.
Acknowledge Unique Health Challenges
African Americans and Latinos are significantly more likely to be hospitalized and/or die from COVID-19. This is due, in part, because they not only make up a higher percentage of essential workers but also have higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Although there’s no need to be alarmist, it is important to highlight the benefits of preventive care and chronic disease management. By keeping conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes under control, African Americans and Latinos can improve their health outcomes.
You’ll want to emphasize why this type of care is essential, and how qualified health plans make it more affordable.
Highlight Affordable Options
Economic pain due to COVID-19 restrictions is widespread, but Latinos have been hit the hardest. Nearly half (49%) of Latinos reported that they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut, lost a job, or both compared to 33% of all U.S. adults. Loss of employment along employer-sponsored health insurance leaves more Latinos without coverage and the income to pay for it.
As you develop your marketing strategy, highlight the affordability of your health plans along with information about receiving financial assistance. Also, make it clear that lawfully present immigrants are eligible—you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen to qualify.
Make Telehealth More Accessible
Telehealth is often a major selling point for health plans. It offers a convenient way to access basic and routine care—without a visit to the doctor’s office. This benefit has been especially important during COVID-19, as some patients may have been unable to receive care otherwise.
While telehealth has its advantages, it’s not always accessible for patients with limited English skills. Language barriers make it difficult for limited English proficiency (LEP) patients to communicate, which often deters them from seeking care. For example, when a University of California at San Francisco primary clinic switched to telehealth, the percentage of visits from non-English speaking patients dropped from 14% to 7%.
This shift toward telehealth poses a major challenge when it comes to providing care for the 25 million LEP speakers who live in the U.S. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau:
- 63% identify as Latino
- 21% identify as Asian/Pacific Islander
- 13% identify as Non-Latino White/Other
- 3% identify as Non-Latino Black
That doesn’t mean you need to remove all references to telehealth from your multilingual messaging though. Patients can still use telehealth with the help of an interpreter, but they need to know this is an option. Including information about how doctors can connect patients with a medical interpreter will help you promote this option to potential LEP plan beneficiaries.
How Avantpage Can Help
Creating culturally-relevant marketing campaigns in multiple languages is a major undertaking, especially when it’s for a highly regulated field such as health insurance. Fortunately, Avantpage is here to help. With over 20 years of translation experience in the field, we know how to adapt your health insurance messaging. From health plan translations to Medicare marketing, we have you covered. All of our translators must pass tests built on ISO 17100 standards in addition to meeting our requirements for qualifications and credentials. This ensures that you’ll always receive the highest quality health insurance-related translations.
Ready to discuss your language needs? Contact us today to request a free quote!
Helene manages Avantpage’s marketing activities. She cares for the company’s brand, content creation, and customer-facing communication. With Empathy Beyond Words, Helene thrives to assist Avantpage with its mission: to help immigrant and LEP communities achieve their American Dream through translation services.