The Next Wave of Communication to Members about Reform
Member communications: A strategic differentiator for health plans
Health reform, the move toward consumerism, and the transition to a more retail-oriented health plan market give health plans an opportunity to assess their current approach to member communications and to begin to use communications as a strategic differentiator. As consumers begin to have more choice in their health insurance coverage, it is critical that health plans provide an excellent member experience to help drive loyalty. A targeted and impactful communication strategy can differentiate health plans and distinguish an organization from its competitors. Communications, therefore, should be a core part of a health plan’s reform strategy, and health plans should consider who the target audiences are and how communications can influence bottom-line results (such as new member acquisition or increased retention).
We are in a period of constant flux, and health plans have many action items on their “to do” lists. Some health plans prioritize those items that are compliance-related and come with a due date — however, it is important to also think more broadly and to dedicate time, resources, and funds toward communicating with members about reform. Health plans should:
- Reevaluate what their communication objectives are
- Identify where they need to focus efforts to improve communication with members
- Confirm who is responsible for achieving communication goals
- Determine how they can evaluate and measure the impact of member communications
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