Jay Sheehy on the Different Ways of Engaging Consumers in the Marketplace

July 11, 2016

Jay Sheehy, senior vice president of product innovation at EmblemHealth, explained that being able to tailor your message to specific patient populations will help to better engage consumers, which will prove to be more successful for healthcare companies in the long term.

Jay Sheehy, senior vice president of product innovation at EmblemHealth, explained that being able to tailor your message to specific patient populations will help to better engage consumers, which will prove to be more successful for healthcare companies in the long term.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Do you differentiate between consumers who are in the marketplace versus consumers with employer insurance?

We do, and we need to. The difference is: are you directly engaging with the consumer, which is where you’re going in the marketplace, or are you working through the employer or their advocate, being a broker or a consultant. Are they a part of that process? So you need to tailor your message.

Also you often find there are different ways to really get to the consumer, meaning that when you’re dealing with an employer, it can be an amalgamation of a lot of different backgrounds, so you may have to change your message. You may have to adjust your message to what the employers strategy is as well, as opposed to gong direct to the consumer.

However my view, and based upon all of my research over the last several years, is we are really moving to a consumer marketplace. By 2020, I feel over 60% of the healthcare in the United States through 1 means where another will be direct to the consumer with public exchanges, with Medicare, with Medicaid and with private exchanges. So again, refining and really understanding the consumer in the marketplace is going to be really critical for all of us to be successful longer term.

You expect more people on the exchanges and that more employer coverage may diminish in the future?

I think similar to 25 or 30 years ago when we moved from defined benefit pension plans to 401k, I think we’re clearly reaching a tipping point in the United States where we’re moving from defined benefits sponsored by employers to more defined contribution programs with vehicles like the public and private exchanges are very fast growing, rapid areas for the employer groups where they’re looking for help to really give the good housekeeping seal of approval on different arrays of choices but giving their employees more choice but actually moving towards that defined contribution program.