Providence Health Plan receives MAX Award from AMA

The American Marketing Association of Oregon has presented Providence Health Plan with the MAX Award for excellence in marketing in the business-to-business category for the "Take a Bite" campaign, which introduced an innovative value-based employer health plan.

The new product is a lower-premium plan designed to reward healthy behaviors. Research showed that 41 percent of human resources managers in mid-size companies have reduced benefits to keep costs down. To encourage consumers to take control of and manage their health, Providence Health Plan arranged for low or no copays for preventive screenings and tests, along with cost-sharing on more expensive items such as high-tech imaging.

Launched in June 2009, the "Take a Bite" campaign features a visual of a bitten apple and the tagline "Take a bite out of health care premiums." The campaign has included print, mail, event-based and Web advertising.

The MAX Award panel looks for "effective insights, objectives, strategies and tactics that produce real results." Providence Health Plan leaders knew the campaign was a success, exceeding its goal, when more than 10 percent of groups requested value-based quotes for January 2010.

"As a company that relies almost entirely on in-house talent and resources, we work hard to provide the best marketing and advertising support for our sales division," said Lynda Werner, regional executive director of marketing and communications for Providence Health & Services. "This award is recognition that we are doing just that."