December 13, 2018
As health insurance brokers and benefit advisors well know, the shortest path to satisfied and loyal employer customers is to keep their employees happy and to control costs. As a result, it’s smart to take a proactive approach in keeping members engaged with their benefits. At HealthComp, we’ve had a long and successful track record of doing this, and we have a high Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 77 to prove it. This score is actually six times higher than the healthcare industry average.
One thing we know for sure is that engaged members are more likely to understand and use their benefits – particularly preventive services – which creates a win-win for providing a superior experience and controlling costs for all.
Knowing that customer satisfaction and loyalty loom in the balance, let’s review some of key factors that lead to optimal member engagement
Transitioning to a new benefits administrator or making significant plan changes can be daunting. Onboarding is the first critical touchpoint of the member experience. A successful onboarding process should extend a warm welcome to members. It should be informative, proactive, exciting, and provide reassurance to members who dislike change. It is important to meet your employees where they are, so the way in which you distribute this information should vary depending on your employee demographics.
As part of our implementation process, HealthComp works with employers to customize our member communications playbook to suit their unique member populations. We have developed a touchpoints timeline that emphasizes engaging members well before open enrollment begins. For some clients, the majority of these touchpoints are digital (through customized landing pages and plan comparison tools) and for others they are primarily through mail and in-person health fairs. It’s important to determine which medium best suits your employees and to engage them early and often.
Health benefits are often complex, and plan documents tend to be written in dense language that’s difficult to understand. Further complicating the issue is the fact that members often have to consult multiple documents in order to fully understand their benefits. Because of these challenges, members tend to be uninformed of their healthcare options and be less likely to engage with their benefits.
Providing educational resources that are designed effectively can go a long way towards addressing these issues and fostering engagement. These resources can be in the form of printed materials or online tools (the right medium will depend on your member population) and should break down the member’s coverage options in easy-to-understand language instead of healthcare jargon. Educational materials should also consolidate benefits information, so members can consult a single source to review their options as opposed to having to sift through a pile of documents.
HealthComp works with employers to develop educational resources that work for their employee population. For example, we developed an online plan comparison tool that enables members to dynamically compare their plan options, premiums and the different benefits available under each plan. This solution was successful because the targeted member population was tech-savvy and had regular access to a computer. For member populations with limited computer access, we’ve developed printed materials that clearly show their plan options and the benefits associated with each of them.
For many members, it can be difficult to understand what they owe when they go to the doctor. They may wonder, what’s a deductible? Why didn’t my plan cover this? Providing explanations to frequently asked questions and education around commonly misunderstood concepts can go a long way towards enhancing a member’s understanding. Members should be able to determine whether a service is covered and how much coverage is provided.
Using HCOnline, HealthComp’s digital benefits platform, members can easily access their benefits information. They can view the status of deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and flexible spending account balances. Members can also access their claims information and message us through the platform if they have any questions.
Being able to provide assistance via different channels, including self-service, is just as important in healthcare as it is in other industries. When a question comes to mind, members should have different options available to access this information-whether it’s through an online look-up or by speaking with a customer service agent.
At HealthComp, we provide concierge-level customer support through HCOnline, our customer support line, and our online messaging tool. For example, if members need to know the status of a claim, they can quickly find this information on HCOnline. Through this platform, they can handle other issues as well. If an ID card is lost, they can access a digital version for themselves or a family member. They can also submit various forms online. And if they need further assistance, they can message us through HCOnline or call our customer support line.
As technology has evolved, so has the consumer experience. In recent years, banks, airlines and other retailers have developed robust online experiences that make it easier for customers to find information, execute transactions and perform other functions. Healthcare is now being held to these same high standards.
HealthComp has re-designed our HCOnline platform to better empower members to take an active role in managing their benefits. Whether you sign in from a computer or mobile device, our user-friendly platform allows members to easily look up coverage information, view the status of their deductibles, review claims, submit forms and access a digital version of their ID card.
Health plans often offer a variety of services and programs to their members. However, access to these programs is often scattered across various websites and applications with different login credentials. Because of this, access to care becomes disjointed, and members may be less inclined to use certain services. The HCOnline platform is designed to make the member’s healthcare experience seamless. It provides a single point of access for health programs (including wellness and preventive services) that can ultimately lead to reduced medical costs.
The EOB is one of the most common touchpoints that healthcare administrators have with members, and one of the most important. Yet the EOB has often been a source of frustration. The typical EOB statement uses healthcare jargon that isn’t familiar to most people, leaving members unable to decipher whether they owe money for a service and what was covered by their health plan. If an EOB is too confusing, members may become discouraged from further engaging with their benefits.
At HealthComp, we’ve introduced a user-friendly EOB that clearly shows how the member’s benefits were applied and whether they owe any money for a service they used. To ensure that the switch to the new EOB was successful, we provided employers with educational materials that they could distribute to employees ahead of the rollout. These materials broke down each component of the EOB using simple language. Now, members are not only able to understand their EOBs, but they’re also motivated to use their benefits.
Would you recommend this benefit administrator to a friend or colleague? – a customer survey that is using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) often centers around a simple question like this. The survey may include a couple other quick questions, but members are usually able to respond in a matter of 15 to 20 seconds. By participating, they have the satisfaction of voicing their opinion on the service provided.
Within HealthComp’s customer surveys, members can also write in comments, which enables our customer service team to collect as much feedback as possible. We’ll contact respondents to ask how we can do better. We’ll use the surveys to identify problem areas and address gaps in service. As a result, we’re able to continually improve and evolve based on our customers’ feedback. By fine-tuning our service, our NPS score has improved over time and now persists at a high level.
Members often feel that they don’t receive enough information about wellness and preventive services. Today, benefit administrators should leverage claims data to target messages to specific members. For example, certain members might fall into the right demographics to receive communications about cancer awareness and preventive screenings.
At HealthComp, we have a team of nurses who reach out to members identified through the algorithms that our analytics team has developed. If members have a chronic condition like diabetes or blood pressure, we’ll discuss ways to better manage their condition through our disease management programs. Or if they’ve been in an accident, we’ll put them in touch with our case management program so they have help in accessing the care they need to recover. We’ll also identify expectant mothers and put them in touch with our Mommies-2-Be program for prenatal health services to reduce the risk of any complications.
There are many reasons member engagement matters. Members who understand their benefits are more likely to participate in their own care, including preventive care, thereby helping to reduce costs. Also important is the fact that engaged members go hand-in-hand with satisfied customers. Contact HealthComp to learn more about our member engagement strategies that enable success for all stakeholders.