WellPoint spends $50M to enhance brand for exchanges

WellPoint is allotting at least $50 million to better position its brand for the new health insurance exchanges launching in 2014, when the online retail marketplaces will make brand name, price and convenience the most important factors for success, reported the Indianapolis Business Journal.  "As you think about 2014, you're going to have to market in a more retail environment, something that this industry hasn't had to do historically, and branding is going to become more relevant," WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt said at a Sept. 10 talk with investors in New York.

The second largest insurer also is running simulation programs with about 22,000 members, testing products it may sell through the exchanges. It plans to conduct pilots on those products to test whether consumers' response is the same as during simulations. "While simulation was done with real consumers, it's always different when they're actually having to make the buying decision and it's a dollar out of their pockets," DeVeydt said. Article

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