In an effort to increase trust and safety across the healthcare advertising ecosystem, Google Ads is requiring all health insurance providers planning to advertise through Google to complete a new certification program and “provide proof that they are permitted under state law to sell health insurance.”
What Is Google’s New Certification Program For U.S. Health Insurance Advertisers?
According to Google’s official announcement, the search engine will “only allow ads from government exchanges, first-party providers and licensed third-party brokers” once the advertisers have provided documentation that proves they can legally sell health insurance to consumers. “This [mandatory documentation] includes plans for individual health insurance coverage, short-term coverage and Medicare, among others. Additionally, for private-sector providers promoting Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans, we will also require proof they are registered with the U.S. government to do so,” Google writes.
Applications for Google’s certification opened on May 3, 2021, and will be available for health insurance advertisers to complete until June 2, 2021. Advertisers will only need to complete one certification, encompassing each state they are licensed to sell health insurance coverage in, according to Search Engine Land reporter Carolyn Lyden.
Why Is Google Requiring The Completion Of Its Health Insurance Certification Program?
Google’s new health insurance certification requirement is intended to offer additional protection for consumers, while also helping stop the spread of misinformation surrounding the healthcare industry. “Our top priority is to create a safe and trustworthy experience for users, whether they’re searching for information online or interacting with ads across our platforms,” said Google.
Through the health insurance certification program, Google can help ensure it is aligning itself with healthcare providers and advertisers that meet industry standards and compliance regulations, establishing stronger trust with consumers and creating a more transparent and trustworthy advertising and search experience. Google added that the certification “creates an additional layer of protection on top of our longstanding misrepresentation policies, which prohibit advertisements with misleading claims about insurance plans or the advertiser’s affiliation with the government.”
How Will Google’s New Certification Program Impact Health Insurance Advertisers?
Compliance standards have evolved significantly in recent years, and Google’s latest certification program for health insurance advertisers is just another reminder for advertisers to be prepared and proactive about how these new guidelines could impact their businesses and industries. Google will likely continue to expand upon its advertising guidelines in order to help ensure that all healthcare providers and advertisers are industry compliant and that consumers view and can rely on the search engine as a trustworthy and credible source. Health insurance advertisers certified to sell insurance should use the time leading up to the June 2 deadline to obtain their certificates, adapt to the updated standards and increase their ad transparency for consumers. For other advertisers, it’s time to start diversifying campaigns away from Google.
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