With the new year comes renewals, restarts, and refreshes…even the not so positive ones. For traditional health plans, deductibles start over and members everywhere heave an unhappy sigh. Deductibles are not part of the equation for medical sharing plans, but increased membership shares can be. Medical sharing plans exist to offer more affordable care options for people, but a medical sharing plan is still in the healthcare industry and thus susceptible to rising healthcare costs.
Increased member costs have the potential to be detrimental to member satisfaction, but not all is lost! There are tactics you can use in your medical sharing plan to keep members happy despite their costs increasing.
If your member prices have increased, now is obviously not the time to let up on member support and customer service. In fact, your team should be going the extra mile to make sure members are 100% supported. Consider hosting a refresher course for your member support team to make sure everyone who takes member calls and emails are going above and beyond for members.
You should also utilize an off hours chatbot on your website if you don’t already have one, and create helpful content for members. This could be blogs with tips on how to stay healthy or find affordable care, a free meal plan or workout regiment, a health guide with tips for specific conditions, and an online member portal that is easy to understand and navigate.
As a medical sharing plan, you want members to go to the most affordable option that offers the best care. The best way to ensure this happens with each and every member is to use a third-party healthcare navigation service. Trained patient advocates will listen to a member’s needs for budget, care, and location and do the heavy lifting to find the best options for that member. For members who like to be more hands on with their care, there are also apps that can help them easily find affordable care (such as the one we’re building.) Not only does this guarantee members are getting the right care, but it also means cost savings for them and your plan.
If you don’t already have one, consider creating a platform for community support! Medical sharing plans are all about community, and many members would appreciate being able to know the people in theirs. You could create a private Facebook group or host your own online platform where members can share tips with each other and ask questions. Just make sure there’s an admin monitoring the group too who can jump in and answer questions to further support members.
Healthcare can be very confusing to navigate, and unfortunately that means sometimes members get stuck with expensive medical bills. However, medical bills can absolutely be negotiated down. Third-party bill negotiators can take on the responsibility of negotiating with providers and finding programs to reduce medical bills. This takes stress off the member, frees up time for your support team, and reduces healthcare costs for you and members.
Adding healthcare navigation and bill negotiation services alone would help increase member satisfaction. One survey reported a 16.5% average NPS growth when members have access to patient advocacy services. These services give members support in their healthcare journeys, save them money, and give them confidence in their healthcare choices.
All of this will contribute to their overall satisfaction with your medical sharing plan, and can be a remedy to any negative feelings about increased member costs.
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