The first 30 to 90 days is the most critical time period to ensure that members understand their plans, find them easy to navigate and are extremely satisfied.
Member satisfaction is the key for exceptional HEDIS scores, improved STAR ratings, member engagement and retention. It’s also a golden opportunity to foster member loyalty which can have a dramatic impact on revenue.
In fact, according to research from L.E.K., a global strategy consulting firm, a typical Medicare plan may be able to increase revenues by 12 percent in two years by reducing the annual disenrollment from 18 percent to a best-in-class rate of 10 percent.
Here, read on for 4 simple things that should be included in any strategic plan for member onboarding to reduce member complaints and member defection.
1.Keep the lines of communication open
After 90 days, most members understand and utilize their plans but that doesn’t mean questions or problems won’t come up.
Instead of leaving it to chance, call your members on a regular basis to prevent inbound calls and drive up costs which can impact your scores. Staying in touch at strategic times throughout the year can also help you identify who may be at risk of switching during AEP and give you an opportunity to save that member you worked so hard to onboard.
You can also look at data analytics such as click-through rates or time spent on specific pages that can clue you into member behavior and help you proactively address problems.
2. Identify pain points and troubleshoot
Not only do you want to call to confirm what they should expect as new members, but it’s also important that they understand how to effectively use their benefits.
Fill in the blanks with specific tips on the explanation of benefits, premium payments, providers and pharmacies that are in-network and confirm their doctors and known prescriptions.
Be sure to use a multi-touch, multi-channel approach which has been shown to please members. In fact, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Member Health Plan Study, overall member satisfaction is 108 points higher among members who used a mobile app to contact their plan at least once in the past 12 months than among those who didn’t.
It’s important to have a plan, strategies and solutions in place to eliminate and resolve problems that may arise. Yet if it’s outside of your plan’s capabilities, consider working with a healthcare member engagement partner who can customize and expedite a plan for you. A campaign management platform that can contact members through the channel of choice with relevant messaging is bound to increase engagement and improve the customer experience.
3. Make the experience user-friendly
In recent years, health plans have tried to make welcome packets more accessible and easier to understand, but sifting through a 100-page welcome packet is still daunting, not to mention confusing for most members.
A short, 5- or 10-minute informational video can help members understand their plans, keep them engaged and lower your costs. The video should give members a common sense explanation of what’s important in their welcome packets, why they need certain forms as well as frequently asked questions.
Members will be more likely to use the plan correctly because they’ll know which forms or health risk assessments to bring to their doctors’ appointments, for example.
If video is not something your plan is able to execute in-house, a sophisticated campaign management partner who has a dedicated creative team can write, produce and distribute the content and manage click-through rates.
4. Follow through on expectations
If you tell your members that they will receive their ID cards and welcome packets by December 31st, but you encounter a problem that delays the mailings, it can significantly affect your scores and ratings.
Your call center will be flooded with calls from new members who are upset, members who re-enrolled and those who are high utilizers of the plan. And if being placed on hold for minutes on end is the first interaction they have with your plan, it’s bound to affect your ratings.
To prevent your mailings from being delayed, plan with your marketing department, vendors and suppliers, and fulfillment center to make sure your welcome packets will be sent in a timely manner.
Unforeseen circumstances happen of course, but you should still have a plan to call or email members to apologize and let them know when they should expect their packets.
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