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Open enrollment is a critical part of health insurance support. It’s the time when member interactions spike and when expert associates are needed to sign up new members and get them up to speed on their plans. When the enrollment period is over, many companies scale back on support, only to start all over again the next year.
But what if companies turned the table on this approach and maintained a robust team of associates throughout the year? Providing better year-round member support leads to higher enrollment rates and stronger member relationships. At one health insurance company, for example, year-round associates renewed members at a rate that was 7 percent greater than that of new associates.

A year-round strategy can fit the changing dynamics of the health insurance industry. Members look to their insurers to help them manage three things: their health, their insurance plan, and out-of-pocket expenses. And they are also demanding better informational and digital support from their health plans throughout the year. In a survey, two out of every five respondents said that health management programs and online tools factor into their choice of a health plan, Deloitte reported.

At the same time, it’s important to think carefully before hiring year-round associates. Answering these questions can help you decide if providing year-round associates makes sense for your organization.
 
  • How much does it cost to recruit, license, and train your seasonal associates each year versus having them serve members throughout the year?
  • How many seasonal associates do you hire each year and how many of those are returning year over year?
  • Have you measured the productivity of returning staff versus new staff members?
  • Are there other functions within the organization that would benefit from the expertise of your seasonal licensed associates?
  • Has your organization looked holistically at seasonal staffing?
  • Would your membership appreciate consistency across multiple human touchpoints?

To find out more about how to set your associates up for success to address members’ needs and drive greater retention, check out our e-book, “Always On Member Experiences."


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Also, check out the most recent issue of our monthly customer experience eNewsletter, Dialogue.
 

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