Does Obamacare speak to women?

More women understand finances and how to talk to the opposite sex than their health insurance and what's covered.

The following blog post is the first of a three-part series based on the results of the SheSpeaks/Lippe Taylor Affordable Care Act: Impact on Women Survey, which polled more than 1,000 women about their understanding and opinions about “Obamacare” and the government shutdown.

When it comes to Obamacare, there's one thing everyone agrees about - it's confusing. Since the impact of the new healthcare law affects women, we at Lippe Taylor teamed up with SheSpeaks to uncover what women thought about the topic. Together, we designed the SheSpeaks/Lippe Taylor Affordable Care Act: Impact on Women Survey, which found that half of women believe that the policy is perplexing.

Among other things, the survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of women surveyed agree that health insurance should offer women benefits such as mammograms (98%), maternity care (88%), and coverage for pre-existing conditions (88%). While all of these benefits will be covered under Obamacare, only about half of women believe that these will be covered. Clearly, there is a gap between perception and reality when it comes to the new healthcare law. 

Regardless of your politics, one thing became abundantly clear to us -- those “marketing” the Affordable Care Act are not connecting with one of their key target audiences: women.

Aliza Freud, CEO of SheSpeaks, weighed in on this, too. “The lack of understanding about the Affordable Care Act is leading women to assume that the impact on them will be negative,” she said. “We think there is a significant opportunity for enterprising companies who can help women understand their healthcare options."

So what can some of those enterprising companies do? First, they can use direct, straightforward language, not “healthcare speak.” Second, healthcare companies can build awareness among patients with specifics about which of their products and therapies will and will not be covered. Pharmacies and pharmacists in local communities where many of the payment questions might be raised have a perfect chance to be more relevant and valuable to their customers.

Beyond the health industry, any brand that has expertise in marketing to women and knows where and how to speak to them can step in to connect women to helpful information. A brand willing to focus on the health and well-being of its consumer in her time of need will go a long way in building lasting loyalty.

Elise Titan is EVP leading the health and wellness practice at Lippe Taylor.

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