By John Coleman, senior director of marketplace solutions, Welltok.
The COVID-19 pandemic likely has Medicare members thinking ahead when it comes to their insurance plan and questioning whether they would be covered if they contract the virus, or if they would like to use telehealth services for routine doctor’s appointments.
In fact, a recent survey shows that 26% of Americans over the age of 64 intend to switch from their original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage plan in the next enrollment period. Open enrollment will be here before we know it, so it is important for health plans to focus on retaining these members by making sure they understand the value of their current plan and know that they are being taken care of.
Communication will be critical for health plans over the next few months, so they should revamp their strategy and follow this three-prong approach to improve Medicare member loyalty and retention.
Analyze consumer data
Clinical health data paints only a small picture of an individual’s health status. Some of the most important member information comes from social determinants of health, lifestyle or environmental factors. By analyzing both clinical and consumer data, health plans can better understand the wants and needs of their Medicare members and how best to engage with them. For example, one member may not have a car and need information about local COVID-19 testing sites and ride options, while another might be due for a mammogram and want details about the enhanced safety protocols their provider is taking during the pandemic.
When combined with predictive analytics, these data can also give health plans an early view into member behavior to see if they are at risk for disenrollment. One member’s favorite provider may no longer be contracted with the plan, or perhaps their doctor moved to a new office which is too far away for them to get to easily. These types of insights allow health plans to take a personalized approach and identify individual member priorities or potential problems they could have and quickly address or correct them. Health plans can then create personalized materials to communicate important information to members and identify the most efficient method for sharing materials with them.