By Bana Varnon, MarketWave
Now backed by the SCOTUS stamp, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will undoubtedly affect everyone in some way. But if there’s one thing businesses desperately need as they try to make sense of it all – it’s clear communication. And lack of that can be costly.
You don’t have to be in the communication business to be a good communicator. But, you do have to know what to communicate. Finding that among the 974 pages of the legislation is certainly a feat. But out of everyone affected by the changes – employers, insurers and hospitals face a dire need for improved communication. Here’s why:
1. Employers: Employers need to engage internal communications efforts to provide employees detailed – yet understandable – information about their benefits, from changes related to pre-existing conditions to preventive care. Work with HR to develop seminars, webinars, Q&A chats and information packets that list out (in very clear terms) how the changes affect employees.
2. Insurers: A recent Advertising Age article noted that with the individual mandate, insurance companies are tasked with courting an audience they’ve never before had to woo. Insurers will need to boost their communications efforts to reach that target audience, more than likely earmarking large budgets for marketing dollars.
3. Hospitals: With more folks insured, it’s expected that hospitals will see dramatically increased traffic. Hospitals should be prepared for the influx with communications designed to welcome and inform patients.
Of course, it’s not an exhaustive list: legal counsel and HR executives will need to learn to communicate the specifics to help their clients comply with the requirements, while virtually everyone in the healthcare industry will need to branch out their marketing over various communication channels.
But bottom line: everyone – no matter their craft – should prepare for a surge of communication as the ACA rolls out. Are you ready?
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