Insurers focus on helping new members use policies

Now that roughly 7 million people have coverage through the Affordable Care Act, insurers are shifting their focus from trying to boost health insurance exchange enrollment to helping new members understand how to use their policies.

Independence Blue Cross is doing just that. The Philadelphia-based insurer signed up almost 180,000 people through the ACA--about 50 percent more than it expected--for a 5 percent increase in overall membership, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"We are fully aware that the process doesn't stop with the sale," Paula Sunshine, IBC's vice president for consumer products, told the newspaper. "We have a well-developed on-boarding program."

To that end, Independence is reaching out to its new members through mail, email and phone, asking them whether they have their identification card, if they understand their plan's benefits and if they paid their first premium yet. "We're trying to be proactive," said Independence CEO Dan Hilferty.

To help HMO Keystone Proactive members understand how the tier system works and why different hospitals cost different prices, Independence will hold seminars in various neighborhoods using its outfitted truck, dubbed the Independence Express, the Inquirer reported.

Independence Blue Cross has successfully used its Independence Express to engage consumers while educating them about the exchanges. "It's about going to events where people already are and create a real comfortable environment where they can come on board the Independence Express and learn more about insurance," Brian Lobley, the insurer's senior vice president of marketing and consumer business, previously told FierceHealthPayer.

To learn more:
- read the Philadelphia Inquirer article