The Payer’s New Roadmap to Acquiring Members

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The healthcare industry is undergoing a massive change as millions of consumers explore different options for insurance coverage, some for the first time. Approximately 44 million more people are expected to enter the market for health insurance through 2016, with millions more to follow in subsequent years.

This influx of consumers presents healthcare insurers (payers) with more opportunities to boost enrollment rates and acquire new members. It’s also more critical than ever that payers have an effective consumer acquisition model in place to leverage these changes.  

Traditional strategies for marketing to and acquiring individual members through employer partners (e.g., benefit administrators) are no longer enough. Healthcare exchanges, search engines, and other digital tools now enable consumers to comparison shop between multiple plans. Even existing members are comparing plans offered through the exchanges with those offered by their employers.

These new developments mean payers need to up their game when it comes to providing prospects with relevant information about plan options, pricing, coverage, and other details customers expect to find in healthcare exchanges and payer networks. And with billions of dollars at stake, the transition to a consumer-led acquisition model poses serious challenges for historically B2B-focused payer organizations.

In order to successfully pursue and acquire lucrative prospects, innovative payers are adopting data-driven models that enable decision-makers to identify and market to the right consumers at the right time using the right messaging.

Preparations for a consumer-led acquisition model should begin with the development of a strategic roadmap. The base components for such a roadmap should include the following:
  • Clear definitions of the top business goals for a member acquisition strategy (e.g., monthly or annual acquisition targets).
  • Descriptions of who the target customer segments are along with their characteristics.
  • Details about how those customer segments are differentiated from one another (demographics, anticipated frequency of care, profitability, etc.).
  • Descriptions of what the consumer experience looks like today across different channels supported by the company (aided by the development and use of a customer journey map). They should also include details about how the technologies and processes used to enable these experiences need to be changed or improved.
  • A list of the necessary skills required of B2C consumer marketing, analytics, and customer experience professionals in order to successfully cater to a consumer audience.
  • A listing of the infrastructure and technologies needed to engage, onboard, support, and retain would-be members.

Healthcare consumers are expecting the speedy service, ease of use, and convenience that Amazon, Apple, and similar companies already provide. While it’s difficult for healthcare organizations to match those customer experiences, a strategic roadmap can help payers differentiate the customer experience and plan for both the short- and long-term goals in acquiring members.

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