August 26, 2014 by Tony Novak
Imagine that you are running a business that just had a dismal new product roll-out. Sales were much lower than originally predicted. Product delivery was a disaster. Now, months later after initial product launch, dissatisfied buyers are cancelling contracts at a disturbing pace. What to do? Simply have your sales office stay open more hours in an attempt to boost activity to make up the difference. WRONG!
Yet this is exactly the tactic that Washington State chose to address its greater than expected problems with 2014 health insurance enrollment. The state announced a special open enrollment period starting tomorrow in hopes of addressing the many lingering consumer complaints. Here’s the twist: in order to access the special enrollment period, consumers actually have to attest to their problem and dissatisfaction. This should be interesting.
My simple suggestion to Washington state: fix the underlying flaws in your health insurance products first, then resume your sales efforts. Oh sorry, I forgot, Washington DC’s rules in a thing called ACA won’t let you do that. The fed’s marketing plan presumed that consumers would eventually come to love the product. But that just isn’t happening and so, for now, you are stuck as the middle manager pushing a product that the majority of your customer’s just don’t want to buy. This is not an enviable position and there is no clear solution.