Hack Open Enrollment for Better Engagement Throughout the Benefit Year

It’s almost that most exciting time of year. No, not the holidays. We’re nearing open enrollment—the magical time when tens of millions of employees and Medicare members shop around for their health insurance. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get your current members engaged in order to retain them. To supplement your existing open enrollment marketing plan, I’m happy to share some simple ideas that can add value to existing and prospective members this fall.

Show them what you’re doing to help them find Dr. Right

Have an easy-to-use portal where members can find their trusted health advisor, whether they are looking for a physician, a naturopath or nurse practitioner? Unfortunately, not all members log into their health plan portal. Why? People don’t wake up thinking about “engaging with their health plan.” Remind them you’ve got an easy way to help them establish their most important health care relationship. Show them about how you can help their find the right PCP—or whichever provider will be a partner in making, or keeping them, well. Show them your physician quality scores or patient reviews to help them in their decision making. If you have convenient care options like telehealth or cost-effective clinic options, this is the perfect time to highlight those capabilities too.

Make it easy for people to switch

If you’re looking for people to join your plan, they likely want to know if their current doctor is in network. Tell them. Integrate your doctor finder right into your brokers’ or plan’s selection experience. Using APIs to help people do a quick doctor by name search from your enrollment portal will let people know if their doctor is covered right away and inspire them to act and select your plan.

Help members with their financial health in addition to their physical health 

Have out-of-pocket cost estimates on your site? Scream it from the rooftops! Half of Americans (53%) have experienced an surprise medical bill. And, one quarter of people prescription drugs have difficulty affording their medications. Help people get the care they need AND help them plan financially. And keep in mind that often cost is more than dollars. If someone is planning elective surgery, it could be the time involved in recovery that will impact their pocketbook. If you’re providing treatment timelines—remind them. If you’re offering financial incentives to help people make cost-effective care options—this is the time to promote that as well. Remind members they can save money and get a little extra cash in their pocket.

And one more thought: Be a resource for your employer group HR contacts

While you can do a lot yourself, HR is your ally in getting in front of employees for commercial insurance. They are busy this time of year so make it easy for them. Do you have marketing toolkits for them to plug in your value prop into their employee presentations and handouts about coverage options? Give them newsletter articles, posters, paycheck stuffers (where applicable) and more so they have educational and engaging materials for employees.

Open enrollment is an important time for people and for your plan. HealthSparq was born from a health plan, so we’ve walked in your shoes and today work with almost 100 health plan brands. We know it is challenging to balance regulatory/legal, business and marketing priorities. At the same time, we’ve seen how a clear, compelling value proposition drives health plan members to act. If you’d like to talk with one of our experts about how you could partner with HealthSparq, get in touch!