Four steps to creating engaging member communications

Whitney2-edited-NAIt’s no surprise that a vast majority of consumers feel overwhelmed by their health care — there is a lot to manage. From choosing the right plan and providers, to taking care of preventive screenings, managing conditions and making the right lifestyle choices. Health plans do their best to make the health care journey easier by communicating with their members throughout the year. But the sheer number of communications can actually create more confusion. In fact, 75 percent of consumers admit to not fully understanding their plan benefits.

Why do members have trouble understanding what we perceive to be helpful resources?

Consumers receive numerous communications every day but typically pay attention to only those that are of the most immediate concern. This can mean missed opportunities for the plan to connect with the member about the next step in his or her health care journey.

Most health care communications are generic in nature, which can discourage members who want to feel like their health plan is invested in their personal health care journey.

Most health plans rely on direct mail when it comes to member outreach, but as technology has evolved, so have members’ communication preferences. It’s important for health plans to understand, and use, members’ preferred communication methods.

Right message, right channel, right time

Some communications that plans send out are mandatory, and personalization and tailoring may not apply. But there are plenty of opportunities to create engaging communications that will educate and empower members, and drive sustained behavior change across member populations.

Health plans can change their communications approach in four simple steps. For example, reaching out to a member with personalized, relevant information when it’s time for his or her benefits renewal can increase the likelihood of re-enrollment. Personalization isn’t hard to achieve — plans have a wealth of member data that they can leverage in these efforts.

However, the right message can’t do its job if the member doesn’t receive it. That’s why it’s so important for plans to verify with each member how he or she prefers to be contacted. Then the plan must use the preferred communication channel consistently.

Download the white paper to learn more.

We briefly touched on two of the four steps to creating engaging communications, but our white paper goes into greater detail on all four steps: Know your customers, identify targets, create personalized messages and perhaps most important, watch and learn. Download “Engaging communications: Driving engagement with members in four simple steps,” to learn more.

About the author

Whitney Haggerson is the Director of Consumer Engagement Consulting. She specializes in engagement strategy development, customer journey mapping, consumer segmentation modeling, development and deployment of choice architecture strategies and integrated communication infrastructures. Whitney has experience with the research and implementation of an onsite clinics strategy with both payers and multi-national employers.

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