The names are very different from conventional policy names, Thrill Seeker, Part-Time Daredevil for a couple, and then there's the Calculated Risk Taker policy all for the under 35 age crowd, and I am left out of that group but these are the target markets for selling policies to the young. BD
June 14 (Bloomberg) -- Aetna Inc. and WellPoint Inc. are competing to sell no-frills health plans to a generation of so- called young immortals, Americans ages 18 to 34 who don't have medical insurance because they doubt they'll need it.
Aetna, WellPoint and about 160 other U.S. insurance providers see future sales growth in these 19 million young adults. The companies are offering policies with monthly premiums of $39 to $160, hundreds less than other plans. Insurers keep costs low by requiring customers to pay as much as $5,000 of their medical bills before coverage kicks in.
WellPoint has introduced its Tonik line of insurance for young adults in six states since 2004. Five states will be added this year.
The company's Tonik Web site has pop-art images of young people, including a woman sticking out her pierced tongue, and marketing slogans that jump and blink against backdrops of cobalt and chartreuse.
``What you say and how you say it is almost as important as the benefits'' in marketing to young adults, said Jude Thompson, WellPoint's president of business for individuals under 65.
In California, WellPoint sells Tonik policies called Thrill-Seeker ($77 a month with a $5,000 deductible), Part-Time Daredevil ($87 with a $3,000 deductible) and Calculated Risk- Taker ($106 with a $1,500 deductible.) In addition to major medical coverage, Tonik provides dental, vision and generic drug benefits and several doctor's office visits a year. Maternity benefits are excluded.