Three ways to get your health plan members to use value-added services.

April 22, 2021
Josie Rasberry

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Have you ever bought a present for someone that you thought they would love and use all the time, but then they give you a forced smile as they open the present and a year later they’ve re-gifted it? Yeah, not the best feeling. Sadly, a lot of health plans experience this blow to their egos, time, and finances every year when they add services or features that go unused by members. These value-added services are meant to, well, add value to a member’s plan, but there’s no value when members don’t use it. 

So, how can you get your members to use the value-added services your health plan implements? Keep reading to find out!

Survey members before adding the service.

Sure, you could make conclusions based on your own data to determine what members want, but wouldn’t it be easier to just ask them directly? This is a huge way to avoid offering a value-added service that will go unused by members. Plus, making members feel involved in your decision-making and their care will increase member satisfaction. More and more, people are expecting the services and products they get in every industry to be highly personalized. Healthcare is no exception. So surveying your members about what they actually want will make them feel like they’re getting to personalize their health plan. This not only helps you save money and improve your plan but also creates happier members and gives you an edge over competitors.

Speak to members’ problems when explaining the benefits.

This tip is for once you actually have value-added services ready for members to use. People are motivated by what they can get out of a situation, especially if it’s personalized to their problems. Rather than just telling members, “This mobile app lets you shop and compare medical services.” Try addressing their specific problems! Do you have a lot of patients who take high blood pressure medication? Call that out by saying, “This mobile app shows you the most affordable spot near you to get your high blood pressure medication.” 

You can even create marketing materials and instructions for specific patient populations. Do you have a lot of mothers who use your health plan? Mention their specific concerns and how your services solve their problems. If you’re having a difficult time creating these custom materials, you could partner with the third-party company providing the value-added service to make sure members are educated.

Make it incredibly easy to use the value-added service.

Perhaps the most important tip of all. No matter how cool the feature is or how much money you spent on it, members won’t use it if it’s not easy to access and available when they need it. value-added services of any kind need to be simple to find, log into, and use. You might find a really great product that will dramatically help you and your members, but if it takes twenty steps to use it’s going to collect cobwebs in a corner (metaphorically speaking.) Choose value-added services that are simple to use, and go the extra mile to create great experiences for members. 

Final thoughts.

Kudos to you for wanting to improve your health plan and help members! Just make sure all your effort, time, and money doesn’t go to waste on value-added services that members won’t use. Remember to:

  • Include members in the decision-making process, and don’t assume what they want. 
  • Get personal when you explain the benefits of your value-added services since this will increase the likelihood of a member using the product or service.
  • And most important of all, keep it simple.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

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