The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced steady enrollment through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange for 2019, with 8.4 million people selecting or automatically re-enrolling in plans by the close of the open enrollment period. Final numbers are expected to rise when the CMS releases additional data on enrollments through State-based exchanges. But if past years are any indication, approximately 10 percent of those consumers will lose coverage by failing to pay their premiums. How can insurance companies address this crucial revenue cycle management issue?
Open Enrollment Challenges aren’t Limited to the Health Insurances Exchanges
Employers and health insurance providers not taking part in the exchanges face similar tests in engaging healthcare consumers. Three common challenges include:
Terminology headaches—Shopping for health insurance is a relatively new undertaking for many healthcare consumers, and most find the language used to explain coverage confusing at best. Developing a glossary of common health insurance terms—explained in plain language—can help healthcare consumers better understand and compare health insurance policies prior to enrollment. In addition, it can reduce confusion for plan members when they receive explanation of benefit (EOB) documents.
Enrollment processes confusion—Some healthcare consumers are self-sufficient and digitally-engaged, preferring a clear, technology-supported enrollment process. Others are less hands-on, relying on expert advice in person or via the phone. Health insurance providers need to provide a robust support system for open enrollment to help consumers navigate the complexities of health insurance successfully. In addition to communicating about the process early and often, employers and health insurance providers alike need to support user preferences when it comes to communication channels.
Little enthusiasm—Let’s face it: Shopping for health insurance plans isn’t quite as exciting as test drives before a car purchase or attending open houses before choosing a new home. Age plays a role, of course, with young healthcare consumers more likely to discount the importance of health benefits than older ones. But attitudes play a role too. Healthcare consumers that are proactive may not need communications to motivate action, but those that tend to live in the moment are unlikely to act without a push. Even after enrollment, some plan members may need more frequent communications to drive engagement in wellness programs or automated payment reminders to keep their coverage intact.
Psychographic Segmentation Reveals Opportunities for Engaging Healthcare Consumers
Having spent decades marketing to businesses, health insurance providers must reorient to a more consumer-focused approach. B2C brands made an important realization long ago: A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Consumers bring different attitudes and expectations to the table and personalizing communications drives engagement.
Even broad segmentation on demographic factors will only take you so far. Making powerful connections with consumers—whether they’re shopping for a car or for health insurance—requires deeper insights into what motivates individuals to act. That’s where psychographic segmentation comes in.
Based on extensive market research, c2b solutions has developed a segmentation model that breaks down healthcare consumers into five distinct psychographic segments based on their attitudes, motivations and beliefs:
- 19% are Self Achievers
- 17% are Balance Seekers
- 18% are Priority Jugglers
- 15% are Direction Takers
- 31% are Willful Endurers
How effective can your open enrollment communications be if they miss-the-mark with a substantial percentage of healthcare consumers? For example, fine-tuning your marketing approach based on a Balance Seeker’s desire to weigh options and make an independent decision or based on a Direction Taker’s preference for expert advice, can drive higher engagement among 32 percent of future and existing plan members.
By understanding how different healthcare consumers feel about health and wellness, health insurance providers can optimize their marketing strategies and customer communications to guide healthcare consumers through the insurance selection process, boost wellness program adoption and keep patient payment collections on track.
Learn more about psychographic segmentation and how it can improve open enrollment challenges by downloading the psychographic segmentation whitepaper.