Actually, it’s not millions but billions of dollars that are riding on the Supreme Courts’ ruling on the Affordable Care Act. According to Brian Wieser, Senior Analyst at Pivotal Research, he said $2.5 billion dollars in marketing and ad spending is riding on the Supreme Court upholding the current law.
If the Affordable Care Act is upheld then millions of Americans who do not have health insurance right now, will be required to get it by 2014 or pay a fine. This means that the health insurance companies will be competing against each other to get these new customers. We will obviously see a lot more health insurance TV commercials as well as Online advertising, direct mail, billboards, radio commercials and much more. While the mandate in the law is controversial, it could be great news for a lot of businesses and industries. Marketing, PR and ad agencies will be working hard building awareness and attracting new customers for their health insurance clients. TV and radio stations will earn a lot of money from ad dollars from the insurance companies. Online health care sites will benefit from increased traffic from people looking for the best and most affordable health care plans resulting in the sites raising their advertising rates for the health insurance companies. And of course, last but not least, the health insurance industry looks to benefit from having millions of new customers.
So what if the individual mandate is struck down, what will happen? Basically it will be “business as usual” for health insurance companies and their respective marketing, PR and ad agencies. They will continue as a primarily B2B business focusing on getting businesses to pick their health insurance plans for their employees over their competitors. There will still be some focus on individuals and families seeking private health insurance but most of their money will be spent building awareness and attracting businesses of all sizes.
As an advertising creative, I would love to see and work on health insurance B2C marketing and advertising. I think the increased competition and the potential for millions of new customers would push health insurance companies to be very creative in how they attract new customers. But as an American, I realize that this decision has many more implications than just marketing and ad spending. The decision on Thursday will obviously affect us all in one way or another. But as with any big news, there will usually be a direct tie to potential marketing and advertising, which is good news for our industry.