Open Enrollment is quickly approaching, which means that millions of consumers are diligently researching their health plan options. Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance industry has seen a dramatic increase in the number of members that are switching to different health plans each open enrollment period. This New York Times article discusses how the act of switching from plan to plan is actually encouraged under the affordable care act in a way to encourage competition in the market.

“86 percent of people who currently have coverage through the federal exchange can find a better deal by switching.”

Obviously, for health insurance this presents the challenge of retaining membership when faced with the reality of increasing premiums. But what about the member? According to Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a physician and health policy researcher at NYU School of Medicine, constantly switching health plans “could be problematic in part because new providers often cannot get a patient’s old medical records.” He added that “doctors also may feel less invested in the health of patients they believe are with them only for the short term.”

So how can health insurers retain members as open enrollment approaches? The short answer is: consumer experience. Improving consumer experience increases the chances of renewal even with premium increases. Furthermore, it is much cheaper to retain members than to acquire new ones.

Stellar consumer experience is all about personalization. Carriers must not only increase engagement with their members, but this engagement must be deliberate and appropriate. To provide that experience, carriers need to leverage the appropriate technology that provides deep insight into their membership population. An ideal customer experience program should capture and measure every member interaction between the member and the carrier and utilize data analytics to identify key events that have a significant impact on members based on customer journeys. This insight allows health plans to:

  • Segment their population into meaningful personas and assign profiles to target marketing and sales efforts.
  • Improve engagement with members by tailoring communications so that they resonate.
  • Identify opportunities to offer appropriate products and services based on member behavior and preferences.

Members will be enticed by lower premiums all the time, however, switching health insurance plans can be a long arduous process. So why not make it easier to stay? By focusing on consumer experience throughout the year, carriers can ensure that members will remain loyal as open enrollment rolls around the following year.

Click here to learn about InsureCX and how you can get ahead of open enrollment by increasing member acquisition and maximizing retention with an insurance specific CRM.