In fall, a young agent’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of health insurance.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Sort of.
The guvment, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it would be a good idea to require *90% of Americans to enroll in or make changes to their health insurance plans at the same time. That time is now.
In real life (a place many of us have to visit periodically to earn money to pay for interwebz access,) I am an insurance agent. My desk is currently awash in brochures from insurance companies who are trying to convince me, and my clients, to pick them for their Medicare Part D drug plans and Obamacare. I’m spending oodles of time online, checking out company websites.
Each company’s plan designs are different (as far as the law allows) and the pricing varies widely. I’m sure that each ad campaign is the result of painstaking research by college-educated marketing and design professionals, working long hours, intent on crafting the perfect message to set their company apart from the competition.
Yet they all look the same.
Apparently only one firm supplies pictures for the entire industry: Stock Health Insurance Brochure & Website Photos R Us. These pictures must conform to a strict list of criteria:
- No sick people. We can’t have potential clients associating this purchase with any thing bad happening, like the possibility that they might someday need the product.
- No old people. Really old people are depressing because they don’t look young. All pictures are of 30-year-old catalog models. If the company is selling senior products, the models’ hair is air-brushed gray.
- Everyone must be attractive. And thin. And have lots of thick, glossy hair. That way potential clients will subconsciously figure that THEY will magically become attractive, thin and have have lots of thick, glossy hair if they buy this insurance policy. Like beer commercials.
- All have perfect teeth. Models must have mouths full of gleaming, straight, white Chiclets. All have had extensive, cosmetic dental work which, by the way, is not covered by the dental insurance you are trying to sell them.
- Everybody is happy. They’re smiling so broadly you can see every one of their dazzling teeth. Their plan has 100% coverage for colonoscopies and a mere $5 copay for Prozac, and they’re so thrilled that if these were moving pictures they’d be jumping up and down with insurance glee.
- Everybody who’s anybody is in the picture. Photos must show a degree of diversity unmatched anywhere outside the United Nations. This is especially true for group health insurance products. Like a White House advance man lining up the human backdrop for a presidential speech, ad designers Photo-shop ethnicities into the picture until it resembles a 1970s Coca Cola commercial. Possibly the only group not represented in these photos are Liechtensteinian-Americans, and that’s only because the designer couldn’t squeeze any more bodies in the frame.
Time for me to get back to work. Although I am really swamped right now, I’m never too busy for you, dear readers. If you’re looking for insurance and you’ve got 1.2 employees from each, major ethnic group (all athletic, young, shining-haired and white-toothed), give me a call. I’ve got the perfect insurance policy for you.
*I made up that statistic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.