Tip 4—Retaining Your Medicare Members
Acquiring new members is only part of your AEP mission. They are valuable assets that you don’t want to squander. So it’s important that you have a retention plan in place. This will help onboard these new members into your plan experience and stimulate their loyalty.
In Tip 4 of our 5-part series for improving your Medicare ROI, KERN Health will share some ideas on how best to keep these assets you worked so hard for as members long-term.
The best retention strategies focus on retaining commercial members as they transition into Medicare coverage. This audience is prime for conversion into your Medicare plan. They know your brand, they’re already connected to doctors in your network and their loyalty has been established. This segment should be a priority in your lead nurturing.
ONBOARDING BUILDS LOYALTY
An onboarding program is essential to successfully introduce new members to your organization and the many benefits and health services that you offer. It’s also helpful in transitioning commercial members into some of the changes and advantages that will occur with Medicare.
Ideally, you would reach out within the first week of their membership (by letter, email or phone) to extend a personal welcome and explain the plan philosophy. This is also the perfect opportunity to detail local facilities by including maps, discussing transportation options and, most importantly, helping them get established with a network doctor. Finding the right doctor is the #1 driver in member satisfaction and retention.
KEEP COMMUNICATION FLOWING
New members, especially Medicare members, have a higher propensity to be disenchanted. You want to demonstrate that your organization cares about them and that they are part of something beneficial, healthy and positive. If you only communicate with them once a year, they’re likely to feel neglected—and when the next AEP rolls around, they could jump to another plan. Here are some insights around what age-related content you could be sharing with them on a regular basis. This can be done via letters, updates to a blog on your website or even a monthly newsletter:
- Ages 65–69: This segment’s priority is health maintenance. It’s a good idea to highlight the importance of preserving their health as they age. So focus on prevention topics.
- Ages 70–75: Many in this segment are living with chronic diseases (being prediabetic is often the case), so emphasize your disease management program or new disease findings that you can share.
- Ages 76 and older: At this later stage, it’s helpful to emphasize the importance of benefits, coverage and potential savings–Medicarians at this age visit a doctor an average of 9 times per year, if not more.
CULTIVATE A STRONG CONNECTION
Remember, your organization depends on your members’ satisfaction and loyalty. It’s much more economical to retain a current member than it is to acquire a brand-new one. What’s more, their positive word of mouth to friends and family can help set the stage for more new members down the road.
Want to meet or exceed your Medicare enrollment goals for 2019? Email Denise Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call her direct line at 818-449-4468. She’ll be happy to arrange a meeting to answer any questions you may have.
In addition to her agency Account Management background, Denise has worked for multiple health plans, including Kaiser Permanente and PacifiCare. She has spent much of her career promoting Individual and Families and Medicare healthcare products. She was a key player in the development of Kaiser’s “Total Health” brand strategy and implementation in addition to the acclaimed “Thrive” marketing and ad campaign.
Boni is a Medicare specialist with over 9 years of experience marketing to Medicarians. As an Associate Creative Director, she leads the Medicare creative development team at KERN Health.