As the health care landscape continues to evolve, there’s never been a more critical time for health plans to adapt and maintain relevance with today’s members. With members increasingly shopping around for value-based benefits that meet their needs, health plans must find ways to remain competitive and avoid being left behind.
Healthcare member engagement is key to driving member loyalty, participation in wellness programs, and plan retention. Recent data shows that the average employee tenure at a company is just over two years.
That means you must consider how your benefits program will keep them happy enough to stay with you and continue investing in your services as an employee of that company.
Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to engage members more profoundly and drive more adoption of your plan. Use the following five tips to make sure your strategy is tailored for success:
Offer exclusive benefits as an incentive
Health plans often reward members who log in and interact with the plan. However, regarding these incentives, not all plans are created equal. If your organization is giving out rewards that aren’t unique or special, those incentives may not be enticing enough to get members to log in.
On the flip side, if the rewards are too expensive or difficult to attain, your members may not be engaging because the efforts aren’t worth it. That’s why it’s important to offer members exclusive benefits as an incentive to log in.
These rewards are tailored to an individual’s needs and interests, making them far more enticing than a generic gift card or a points system. For example, one health plan offered $50 off dental cleanings to members who logged in and completed a short survey. While it’s great that members received a reward, they could have easily purchased the same dental service at a lower price.
Leverage social media to promote engagement.
With the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, health plans have found new ways to engage with members online. While some organizations focus on developing their own branded pages, others leverage the social media accounts of their members.
For example, if your health plan partners with a specific insurance company, creating a new Facebook page may not make sense. Instead, the insurance company might have its own massive social media presence that your members can easily engage with.
Social media is all about communication, so it’s an excellent platform for health plans to foster engagement. You can use it to collect member feedback, respond to questions, provide helpful information, or even create polls that help you improve your services.
Hold member events
Hosting events is a great way to get members on board with your health plan and engaged with the organization. Whether your organization hosts events at your office or takes them on the road, hosting events can be highly effective – especially if you tie them to your mission.
For example, a health plan with a wellness mission might host a walking event at a local park. Members participating in the event can earn points toward rewards or towards being healthier.
Utilize automated communications
Rather than sending out an annual member letter or a monthly email blast, consider transitioning to automated communications that members can schedule and opt into. This gives them more control over receiving information and allows them to select the topics they’re most interested in.
While many health plans are still hosting events and offering member-only discounts, many organizations have started using automated communications to boost member engagement. These messages are often sent out through text or email and are designed to be helpful or prompt members to take a specific action.
For example, if your health plan notices that many members are missing the deadline to submit a claim, the organization might send out a text message or email reminder. Or, if your members are struggling to get their online login credentials, you might send them helpful login tips or instructions on how to reset their passwords.
When it comes to automated communications, you don’t want to send out useless messages that irritate your members. Be strategic with your communications, only sending them when needed and ensuring they’re accurate and helpful.
Partner with Fit/Wellness Apps and Devices
Health plans have partnered with Fit/Wellness apps and devices for years, but many providers still overlook these partnerships. Partnerships with Fit/Wellness apps and devices are a great way to engage members with your health plan.
For example, if your company partners with a nutrition app, you can encourage members to download the app and track their diet. You can also promote your partnership at events and in your other communications. Why not partner with Fit/Wellness apps and devices to get more members involved if you’re hosting a wellness event?
At the event, you can hand out gift cards or other prizes to members who have downloaded the apps or devices. If your health plan has a partnership with a Fit/Wellness app or device, make sure you’re taking advantage of it.
Member engagement is crucial to the success of any health plan. With the right strategies in place, you can better engage with your members and keep tabs on how they’re doing. To do so, you’ll need to ensure your engagement strategies are tailored for success. Offer exclusive benefits as an incentive, leverage social media, hold member events, run member-only discounts, and utilize automated communications. Partner with Fit/Wellness apps and devices when possible, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting engagement.