How to Reduce Churn when the Provider Comes First
This post looks at consumers whose primary consideration is the provider network when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. In our research, we found that this group represents 14% of consumers.
One very obvious take-away is to ask everybody if they chose the plan to access a particular provide or network, even though this is one of the better informed-groups of consumers. They report taking a closer look at star ratings and are more brand-conscious than other types of consumers. That said, early churn can be reduced by paying attention to a few things.
While consumers might be attracted by a name brand provider, you need to confirm they can easily access those facilities when it becomes necessary. If it turns out that somebody has chosen to access a particular provider then a couple of careful follow-up questions can help reduce churn:
First, people need to be asked if they spend time elsewhere, perhaps visiting relatives or spending winter months somewhere more temperate. It’s then a matter of making sure that they are enrolled in a plan that offers some flexibility around the provider.
Second, if somebody names a particular provider or facility, then they should be asked if they can easily access that provider. If somebody has transport problems maybe there is another provider that is closer or there are additional benefits that might be available to help with transportation.
Third, as ever, it’s worth reviewing somebody’s medical needs and to confirm whether they are aware of the additional costs this might impose. It could be that another plan would serve them better even if they were not able to access their preferred provider.
We know from our data that these consumers are also more likely to look to brand. Perhaps they’ve had a good experience through a prior employer. However, Medicare Advantage plans are often significantly different from what they might have previously known. Here too, the goal is to walk the consumer through the benefits of the plan they have selected making sure they appreciate where and how they are receiving value.
As ever, we find that churn is reduced when there are no bad surprises. This means reconfirming everything just to make sure.