April 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Aetna insurance carrier targets gays
Aetna, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Wonderlane; courtesy Flickr)

NEW YORK — Aetna, the nation’s third-largest health insurer, is urging gay customers to “be proud” by considering its products as part of a new, narrow focus to selling health insurance, the Associated Press reports.

The company is using mobile phone apps, print ads and a newly launched website to appeal to the estimated 9 million LGBT U.S. residents, the article said.

Its website features a video of a gay woman and man talking about love and relationships. It also helps visitors find LGBT-friendly doctors and promises coverage “with features that fit you, your partner and your family,” the AP reports.

Experts say changes in technology and how insurance is sold, plus a more fickle customer who wants to know where companies stand on certain issues, all create fertile ground for such a targeted approach. But this push comes with the risk of turning off customers who don’t agree with a company’s stance.

Aetna has offered help finding LGBT-friendly providers for years, and it has long backed issues like domestic partner coverage, all of which it details on its new website.

The insurer decided to package this into a marketing push after talking to its employees, who pointed out that the LGBT community shows loyalty to companies that favor its inclusion. The company decided to test market to that community as a way to learn more about selling to specific demographic groups, President Karen Rohan told the AP.

“This is a pilot for us to really understand how people are making choices and how people are thinking about purchasing health care,” she said.

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