In May, Deft Research published results from our most recent survey of individual health insurance consumers. The report, titled Member Experience and ACA Plan Performance, found that one-third of these individuals are considering switching to a new insurer during the 2016 Open Enrollment Period (OEP). For a typical insurer, one-quarter to two-fifths of their member have some intention to leave. The study concludes that health insurers must get to work on improving member experience or prepare for high volumes of churn during the next enrollment period.
A health insurer’s “engage-ability” can be defined as providing useful, relevant, and motivational information.
Health insurers that deliver the right information, to the right members, at the right times, via the right channels have the most satisfied and loyal members. According to the study, companies that are thought of as a useful source of relevant and motivational information see fewer members who are considering switching to a new insurer. Only 10% of members who feel their plan provides high quality, motivational communications about topics that are important to them are likely to want to leave their insurer. In contrast, over 50% of those who feel their plan does not provide such communications are likely to want to leave.
At the core, health insurers need to understand who their members are, what their members want, and how those needs can be met through communication channels. And, they need to have in place some way of measuring the quality of their member experience so that they take appropriate improvement steps if necessary.
Companies that can improve their communications strategies to be in line with their members’ needs can lower the risk of churn in future enrollment periods.