As low as this blow is, it seems almost destined. Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has launched three ads that tell people to skip Healthcare.gov and visit their website instead. And what’s there reasoning? Because Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s site actually works.
Chris Matyszczyk of CNET reported on this advertising development (and included his own personal insurance woes). He writes, “Somehow, though, there’s always this nagging feeling with insurance companies — and, indeed, with the whole health industry — that the drive for a buck (with the frequent assistance of technology) is often at the expense of its customers’ mental, as well as financial, health.”
Right there you see the ultimate conundrum of any insurance business. What is the goal of business? To make money. How does insurance make money? By bringing in more money than it spits out. The problem? Well the incentive for the insurance business is to induce a fear-based mindset, and then they can sell “peace of mind.” That’s why you buy auto insurance. You can’t predict that car behind you texting, that winds up rear-ending you, hence, you buy insurance. You also can’t predict if you’re going to need a heart transplant (although you certainly can modify your behavior to mitigate the risk). Hence, you buy health insurance. This is the basis of insurance revenue, selling peace of mind.
Our main issue with this mentality is that a yearly physical, or a thyroid prescription for someone with hypothyroidism, is not a surprise. Why then is healthcare in America synonymous with health insurance? It’s silly. Although it’s also the majority opinion, for now.
What’s Wellmark have to say about the ads? A Wellmark spokeswoman told AdAge: “The ad campaign is designed to use humor to get attention so that we can share the message that there is more than one option to purchase health insurance.”
Chris mentions how helpful this is, and, he adds, potentially lucrative for the company. We visited the Wellmark Web site, and as reported on CNET, the site works well. If you visit the “What Matters?” page, you are shown answers to questions – one of which asks, “Why Did My Premiums Go Up?” Ouch. We’re still curious how rates just magically “spiked” but then again, that’s like asking how anything money-related works. It’s a mystery best left to investment bankers and other high-profile speculators.
But how does Wellmark answer this question of price? They say, “Premiums increase because the cost of health care increases…For everyone.”
We’re slightly offended. They obviously haven’t been following our movement.