The value of domain names specific to the health and medical industry has reached new heights with Medicare.com selling for US$4.8 million (AUD$5.1 million) in 2014.
US health insurance company eHealth Inc bought the premium .com domain name with $4.5 million in cash and $300,000 of forgiven receivables from the seller, who is unnamed at this stage.
The domain name was running as a lightly developed site prior to the acquisition, monetised by lead generation and Google Analytics, so eHealth will get some SEO benefits from its purchase. But the company’s CEO, Gary Lauer, has also made it clear there are big plans for the .com.
“Medicare.com is a really important property which we were frankly delighted to be able to acquire,” he says in an investor conference call in May, noting that the redeveloped site is “something we just started”.
“We think that’s going to have some really positive impact [on] Medicare business throughout the year as well as during the annual enrolment period and I can’t tell you at the moment where we’re ranking in Medicare but we certainly source a growing volume of applications from search.”
He has also told investors that Medicare.com is going to “help us significantly there as well”.
The most recent public record for Medicare.com shows the seller was Tennessee company Medx Publishing Inc, which last year gained attention by purchasing Medicaid.com when the US government let the domain name expire. Medx Publishing Inc CEO Bill Kimberlin actually acquired the Medicare.com domain name in 2000 and designed his business ventures around it.
“I knew that (Medicare) was a $500 billion-plus market with 48 million people. There are a lot of people competing for these dollars,” Kimberlin said in an interview with the Nashville Business Journal in 2012.
“The most premier real estate to exist on the planet for this was going to be Medicare.com. When we got that, there really wasn’t a business model yet. It was going to be a pretty long research (road) to figure out to monetise that.”
Based on the sale of Medicare.com and the other ventures managed by Medx Publishing Inc, that plan seems to be going very well for Kimberlin.
With the US Medicare system earning even more in 2014, and getting a lot of attention from political figures, the media and the public, eHealth is set to continue the successful legacy of the Medicare.com domain name in 2014 and beyond.