How to get and keep members as your health plan grows

February 4, 2021
Josie Rasberry

Whether you’re a health sharing organization, a discount medical plan, or another type of payer, odds are that you would like to grow your membership base. Or maybe your health plan is already experiencing growth and you want to keep the momentum going. Wherever you are in your organization’s journey, it’s important to build a strong foundation that can scale with your membership growth. You don’t want to add thousands of members to only lose them because of poor member experience and customer satisfaction.

In this blog, we’re going to look at three ways to not only obtain new members but to keep them too.

Member Support

This probably goes without saying, but if your membership increases, your member support team should increase too. If you’re unable to add more employees to your member support team, all hope is not lost. You could always contract with a patient advocacy vendor that is able to take certain member needs off of your in-house member support team. Patient advocacy can include a lot of things, but mainly they help your members find the ideal care for their health, financial, and personal needs. Sometimes they can even negotiate down expensive medical bills for your members! Allowing an external team to answer your members’ questions about where to go for affordable care or how to get a bill lowered allows your internal member support team to help more of your community. When members experience quick and effective help with all their healthcare experiences, they’re more likely to stay with you and recommend you to their friends and family.

Custom Tools and Products

Make it easy for your members to find the care they need when they need it. By providing them the right tools and products, you can not only free up time for your teams to work on growing your community, but you can also help your members to feel empowered in their healthcare decisions. Price transparency in healthcare is finally taking root (even if only in hospitals for now) which means shopping for healthcare is possible. For health plans, it’s crucial for members to go to the most affordable option for quality care. Utilizing apps that integrate with your members’ specific needs ensures they will get great care at an even greater price. For health sharing organizations, this keeps sharing costs low and members happy. For discount medical plans or limited benefits plans, this means savings for members that reflect positively on you. Other custom tools you could implement are health platforms that offer gamification to promote healthiness in your members, coupons for medications, or even offering wearable tech to members that helps them track their health.

Get Personal

Take a look at who your members are. Do you see any common qualities or needs? Make sure you’re offering services and products that meet their specific needs. Do you notice a lot of new parents in your membership base? Put out blogs and articles with helpful tips for new parents and newborn health. Do most of your members share a common chronic disease? Make sure you’re offering them coupons on medications and resources to manage their health. As your membership base grows, consider creating specific teams that can focus on these unique patient populations. People like to feel that their individual needs are important and being met, so if you notice no one is specifically meeting the unique needs of a certain patient population, step up and do it. Current and prospective members will notice this personalization, leading to lower churn and higher growth.

As your health plan membership grows, it’s important for everything in your organization to grow at scale too. But, the most important thing to grow along with membership base is member services. You can choose to do that by expanding your team, contracting with a vendor to support member needs, and/or using tools that allow members to take charge of their health. As you grow, don’t lose sight of why members are joining and staying in the first place: to receive great support and care. If you prepare for growth before it happens and maintain excellent member support, you’ll continue to keep members and gain new ones.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

You might also enjoy.