4 ways health insurers can engage customers through exchanges

Amid the healthcare industry's shift to a consumer-focused business model, one health insurer has embraced the change by creating its own exchange platform to sell coverage in what it sees as a more effective and engaging manner.

In an interview with Health Payer Intelligence, Neil Kennish, associate vice president of marketing and sales at Memorial Hermann Health Solutions, explains that the insurer was able to enroll more than 8,000 members through its insurance exchange platform just a few short months.

For health plans leaders who want to employ a similar approach, here's what Kennish suggests based on Memorial Hermann's experience:

  • Communicate and approach individuals on a direct level to give customers a better sense of how health insurance works. Also, speak with existing customers to get a better sense of what critical benefits they would like their plan to cover.
  • Look at health insurance from a retail standpoint and allow consumers to examine every plan to see what their monthly premium would be, what their deductible is, what tier it is and what their relevant benefits areacross each dimension that matters to them.
  • Aim for greater customer satisfaction with an accurate and effective plan comparison tool and monitor where customers are having more difficulty by paying attention to where they are exiting the shopping experience.
  • Work together with providers to reduce healthcare spending and bring more value-based, quality care to your consumer base.

Insurers aiming to create a retail-like experience for customers, however, should note that while such an approach is now possible from a technical standpoint, it can be culturally challenging for some organizations, according to a recent report from report from IDC Health Insights.

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