8 Reasons to Pre-Board your Members Before the New Year

Have you ever thought about “pre-boarding” your members?  Why not reach out early to engage members before their effective date, especially if it means you can identify transition of care needs.

Pre-boarding new healthcare members before January 1 preps them for a smooth transition to their health plan in the new year. Timely, personalized outreach goes a long way in the minds of your members.  Behavioral research demonstrates that little things make a big difference when it comes to social interaction.[i] Let them know that you are thinking of them and are ready to take care of them in the New Year.  A warm welcome can help ease any anxiety and supports them into new benefits.

Don’t wait until January to educate members on plan benefits, collect critical contact and consent information or identify transition of care needs when you can do it now. Pre-boarding can reduce costs, improve satisfaction and retention in the long run.

Here are eight reasons to pre-broad your members:

  1. Identify transition of care needs  
  2. Collect critical contact and consent information including email addresses, cell phone numbers and permission to contact via text and email
  3. Ease anxiety for new members by reassuring them they have coverage starting the first of the year
  4. Educate members on their plan benefits
  5. Remind members to be on the lookout for their new ID cards
  6. If applicable, make sure members understand how to make premium payments
    {15% of Marketplace enrollees fail to make their first premium payment and never effectuate their enrollment. Get ahead of this problem by welcoming members to the plan before their benefit year starts and remind them to make that first payment to ensure they’re covered on January 1.}
  7. Reduce the burden on your call center's anticipated January 1 volume
  8. Member loyalty and retention starts with your welcome message 

Contact us today at eliza@hms.com, 844.343.1441, so we can create your pre-boarding program so you can successfully onboard your members for a healthy 2018.  

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[i] Psychology Today, Mar 06, 2012, Sam Sommers PhD. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-small-talk/201203/the-power-hello


5 Tips for Building an Effective Healthcare Welcome and Onboarding Engagement Program

When done right, an effective welcome and onboarding strategy will have a positive effect on member retention, quality improvement and risk mitigation. Recently, Eliza’s SVP of Market Strategy and Consulting, Ellen Harrison, and I hosted a webinar on best practices in health plan welcome and onboarding engagement. If you missed it, you can watch it in your own time on-demand here.

Here are five tips for building an effective welcome and onboarding program:  

1. First Impressions Matter 

Don’t miss an opportunity to build loyalty by welcoming members to the plan and orienting them to their new benefits. The last thing you want is a member’s first interaction with the health plan to be a claims dispute. Take a proactive approach and reach out to members with something more than an Evidence of Coverage that is likely to be lost in the mail or at the bottom of a pile of junk mail.

2. Timing is Everything

Reach out to members early to make sure they have the information they need to use, and keep, their benefits. When it comes to Marketplace and Medicare Advantage plans, don’t wait until coverage has started to start the orientation process. 15% of Marketplace enrollees don’t pay their first month’s premium, and never effectuate coverage. Thank members for choosing your plan and remind them how and when to pay their premium in order to access their benefits.

3. Get to Know Your Members Early

This is the best time to assess risk and barriers to care. Don’t wait for a claim to come in noting a chronic condition, comorbidities, or an avoidable ER visit to identify high-risk members for care management programs. Use this time to conduct a health risk assessment, including social determinants of health. Whether you’re talking to someone with diabetes, an expectant mom, or someone who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from, find out what’s going on and connect them with the resources they need to be their healthiest selves.

4. Go Multi-channel, Multi-touch

A multi-channel, multi-touch approach yields improved reach and satisfaction rates, as well as outcomes. A welcome call is the perfect opportunity to verify contact information, collect email addresses and permission to send text messages. We consistently see a lift in engagement rates when adding channels to the engagement strategy.  Email and text are great channels for reinforcing key information contained in welcome messages. –And once you have that data, use it to fuel future interactions.

5. Make it Meaningful

Each population is going to have different needs upon enrollment. For new Medicare members, it’s imperative to transfer prescriptions. Marketplace members are probably going to need a brief tutorial on health plan lingo. And Medicaid enrollees should be given a primer on the redetermination process and how to keep their benefits. Make sure you evaluate and address the specific onboarding needs of your population, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

While the welcome and onboarding process is traditionally thought of as a marketing function, it is truly a cross-departmental exercise that serves as the kick-off for retention, quality improvement and care management activities, while covering critical compliance requirements. It’s important to set a welcoming and supportive tone, in a timely manner, with relevant information for your members to get the most out of their membership in order to influence clinical quality, member loyalty and costs.

For more information on best practices in welcome and onboarding strategies, watch the on-demand webinar, or contact us at info@elizacorp.com and 1.844.343.1441

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