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Two Steps to Improve Member Onboarding

Onboard. Engage. Activate. These buzz words abound in today’s health plan space because competition is fierce, and members are fickle. Unless you are lucky enough to have a virtual monopoly in your market, members have other options and price can be a great motivator. However, when comparing plans, consumers often find understanding differences in benefits difficult at best, so they tend to focus more on their experience with a health plan when it comes time to enroll or renew.


At GuideWell Connect, we believe the best place to start winning over members is with the very first member interaction…and the usual ID cards and benefit summaries won’t do the trick.


It is important to create an engaging member activation experience that achieves four key objectives:

  • Build loyalty by welcoming members to the plan and educating them on their benefits.
  • Ensure that any new member’s first interaction with your plan is a positive one.
  • Assess risks and barriers to care early on and utilize that information to set the stage for future outreach.
  • Capture updated contact and opt-in information to enable multi-channel outreach via email and text messaging.

Most importantly, you need to drive members to engage with the experience.


An effective digital onboarding experience


Plans often have a multitude of point solutions to solve for various member onboarding challenges. These might include a direct mail and/or emailed welcome packet, a plan website, an app for onboarding, and yet another app for service and support. When members are pointed in different directions for different challenges, the experience can become overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating, leaving your members already feeling dissatisfied out of the gate.


Instead, we recommend creating a single, plan-specific and member-centric digital welcome experience.


1. Choose your technology partner wisely

Here are some key components to look for when evaluating an appropriate onboarding technology platform:

  • Your technology partner should have health plan specific experience and know-how. You don’t want a general consumer engagement tool that was not designed in compliance with health industry rules and regulations.
  • Look for a platform that integrates directly into your member portal or website, with Single Sign On functionality, to allow for a cohesive member experience.
  • You will also want to find a tool that can automatically launch the first time a new or renewing member logs in during a plan year.
  • The tool should be highly customizable to support varying plan-specific experiences across your breadth of Medicare and Under 65 plans, and to enable you to differentiate your experiences for new members versus renewing members.
  • Depending on your geography and member demographics, you may also want to consider a tool that supports various languages so that you can serve the growing number of Spanish speaking members throughout the country.

2. Defining the experience


Ideally, you will create multiple experiences to account for your varying plans and the different needs of your members.  We recommend each experience have, at a minimum, the following 5 components:


  1. Welcome
    • Thank your customers
    • Establish a personal relationship
    • Re-enforce your brand
  2. Educate
    • Re-enforce the member purchase
    • Use ‘bite size’ pieces to inform and educate
  3. Communication Preferences
    • Collect email opt-ins and text messaging opt-ins
    • Develop new communication channels
    • Identify preferences
  4. Survey
    • Support your Quality Revenue Program Management (QRPM) efforts with health surveys at the beginning of each plan year.
    • Increase your HEDIS and STARs ratings by collecting data that you can use to drive member engagement outreach campaigns aimed at addressing care gaps.
  5. Next Steps
    • Re-emphasize your key messages
    • Provide links to relevant tools
    • Close the onboarding experience by launching your member portal or member website

Driving members to the experience


Having a great digital experience that captures necessary information from members and educates them on their plan benefits can only be successful if your members actually use it. Using targeted marketing outreach efforts, you can drive members to engage with your experience and start to love your plan from the outset.


We recommend you blend phone, email, digital, face-to-face, and other modes of outreach to increase reach-rate and incite action.


Digital and Direct Mail Campaigns

  • Be strategic: Guide members based on your specific health plan direction and objectives. Segmentation schemes and predictive models will help you develop purposeful and precision personas, and craft effective messages.  
  • Be compliant: Ensure your outreach efforts are in compliance with the many governmental rules and regulations for marketing to members.
  • Employ a multidisciplinary execution team: To be truly effective, you will need creative teams working with data and analytics teams, as well as those that can analyze your campaigns and report on campaign efficacy.
  • Automate: Employ a reputable campaign management tool to automate your efforts and track your results.
  • Leverage Multiple Channels: Multi-touch, omnichannel campaigns will drive quantifiable results and consumer action


Call Center Considerations

  • Choose a call center with a health care space focus and proven experience
  • Make sure the call center can fully integrate with your campaign management tools for end-to-end compliance and quality oversight.
  • Ensure they employ highly secure, scalable, and configurable technology to meet your needs.

Member Activation from GuideWell Connect


GuideWell Connect’s Member Activation offering solves for the breadth of onboarding challenges faced by health plans. Our program is proven to have a positive effect on member retention, member engagement, quality improvement, and risk mitigation. Using our creative services team, marketing experts, data and analytics services, as well as our award-winning call centers, we are able to employ omnichannel, targeted outreach that both welcomes new members and drives them to a client-specific digital member experience personalized in our proprietary WelcomeConnect™ onboarding platform.


To learn more about member activation, view our webinar from May 30th.

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