UnitedHealthcare Recognized with Clearmark Awards for Excellence in Plain Language

April 22, 2013
  • The Center for Plain Language honors company for innovative marketing and communications programs that make health care easier to understand

UnitedHealthcare has been honored with three 2013 ClearMark Awards from the Center for Plain Language.

The ClearMark Awards celebrate the best in clear communication and plain language from government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private companies. The awards were announced at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 16.

UnitedHealthcare has earned ClearMark Awards for three consecutive years in recognition of its efforts to simplify health care communications for its customers. This year, the company received three Awards of Distinction in the Best Original Document – Private Company category for the following programs:

  • National Medicare Education Week
  • "Hello" marketing campaign
  • "Scarlet Says Good-Bye"

"We're grateful to the Center for Plain Language for recognizing the diverse, consumer-centric initiatives we've developed to help people better understand their health care options," said Jack Larsen, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "Clear, easy-to-understand information is important for all health care consumers, whether they are newly eligible for Medicare, considering making a change to their coverage, or dealing with the loss of a loved one."

"We are delighted that UnitedHealthcare has captured three Awards of Distinction in the original document category," said Annetta L. Cheek, Ph.D., chair, board of directors, Center for Plain Language. "UnitedHealthcare continues to be a role model for making complex but critical health care information easy to understand for its members and their families."

UnitedHealthcare created National Medicare Education Week (Sept. 15-22) in 2012 to help people better understand Medicare, especially the 10,000 baby boomers who become eligible for the program every day. The multifaceted campaign is an extension of the company's Medicare Made Clear™ education program and was designed to bring focused attention to the importance of learning about Medicare one month prior to the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, when beneficiaries have an opportunity to make changes to their coverage.

The company hosted educational events in more than 50 cities during the inaugural National Medicare Education Week. Nearly all (96 percent) of the more than 2,000 event attendees said that their understanding of Medicare improved as a result of attending the events. More information about National Medicare Education Week is available at www.NMEW.com.

The "Hello" campaign, developed to create a consistent look and feel for materials about UnitedHealthcare's Medicare plans, comprises nearly the entire portfolio of the company's marketing materials, from direct mail and print advertisements to online media and materials for sales agents. The "Hello" campaign offers a fresh take on health care by focusing on simplicity, convenience and value. Using positive, friendly language and fun design elements, materials in the "Hello" campaign convey respect and concern for the consumer and demonstrate that UnitedHealthcare is a company that understands consumers' needs.

"Scarlet Says Good-Bye" is a book designed to help young children understand hospice care. Through the story of Scarlet and her animal friends as they say goodbye to someone she loves, the book helps children prepare for the death of a family member or loved one. In addition to the narrative, the book includes games, pages for coloring and other activities to create an interactive learning experience and give children a platform to communicate their questions and express their emotions as they begin to understand the full meaning of hospice care.

"Scarlet Says Good-Bye" was developed and written by Christine Thompson, a UnitedHealthcare employee who received funding and publishing resources through the UnitedHealthcare Educational Publishing Group. Thompson was inspired to write the book based on her experience working at UnitedHealthcare, where she identified a need to better explain the role of hospice care to children in a way they can understand. The book is available at elvaresa.com/scarlet.html, Amazon.com and through select hospice service providers. It can also be read online at www.scarletsaysgoodbye.com.

Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the largest business dedicated to the health and well-being needs of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries.

About The Center for Plain Language
The Center for Plain Language is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that wants government and business documents to be clear and understandable. The organization supports those who use plain language, trains those who should use plain language, and urges people to demand plain language in all the documents they receive, read, and use.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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