Consumer focus changes plan branding strategy

January 17, 2014

Focus on simplifying healthcare when rebranding your product.

 

 

With the start of 2014, more plans are rebranding to market to consumers under the Affordable Care Act.

Sunshine State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene Corperation-a national government-program-focused health insurer with health plans in 18 states-has undergone a statewide rebranding effort in order to increase exposure of the multiple managed care services it offers in Florida. The plan officially launched its new logo, marketing materials and name, Sunshine Health, on January 1. 

“We believe very strongly in local branding and putting our employees in the local markets,” says Beth Nunnally, vice president of external relations at Sunshine Health. “We want the states that we serve to know that our employees are hired locally, that they live locally and that we understand the communities, our providers and our members across the products.”

Florida itself recently went through a large procurement process and is now transitioning its Medicaid program into a fully managed-care system. Instead of being a health plan entity, Florida will now be mainly a regulatory administrative entity.

“We were a large winner because there’s a natural transition in the program in Florida,” Nunnally says. “We wanted to go ahead and do the rebranding at the same time as we transitioned to the new program so there was a very clear delineation between the old program.”

When founded 25 years ago, Centene offered only Medicaid-focused health plans. Over the past 10 years, the organization has expanded its portfolio. For example, not only is Sunshine Health a Medicaid health plan, but it also offers long-term care plans, child welfare through a foster care plan, Medicare Advantage, a nursing home diversion and a State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) called Healthy Kids.

Nunnally says that with the rebranding, the plan wanted to focus on simplifying the healthcare process from a corporate, member and provider perspective.

“Overall, our purpose was not to just get a new look, but it was to stress the fact that as an organization, healthcare should be simple,” she says. “So with our brand, our logo, and all our communication, we’ve tried very hard to simplify the process so healthcare’s not intimidating.”

Nunnally emphasizes the importance of a plan to brand locally, so that it can take ownership of the state in which it resides. For example, Centene’s Sunshine Health, Peach State and Buckeye State health plans are easily identified as Florida, Georgia and Ohio plans. This makes it easier overall for employees, providers, members and the state itself, she says.