Proof of the Plan is in the Care
As payers, there’s a lot we do to make sure that customers have a good experience and renew. We try and educate customers as to what they’re getting to provide them with peace of mind and to make sure that they’re not surprised. More than this, we train our customer support staff to be supportive and invest in the claims process to make it as easy as reasonably possible.
These tactics are all based on the observation that churn is driven by disappointment. And our research too finds that consumers are far more likely to indicate wanting to switch plans because of a negative experience.
Our recent research into consumer behaviors also uncovered one positive driver that must not be neglected: the act of receiving care. What we find is that consumers not using their plan are far less satisfied.
From a plan design perspective, this suggests that payers need to take a pro-active role in making sure that consumers receive pro-active care. The good news is that Medicare Advantage plan designs can make this easy by making sure that everybody receives a pro-active check-ins.
Our research also suggests that the care doesn’t necessarily need to be about visiting a doctor. Receiving preventative care – perhaps advice around nutrition or receiving a flu-shot – is as effective as receiving more acute medical care.
At some level, this is about making sure that plan participants have a positive experience before they find themselves in a higher-stakes, more stressful situation. It’s important for the consumer to have a deeper experience with a provider so that they might transfer those positive feelings over to the payer. Otherwise, there’s a chance that the plan remains an abstraction in the mind of the consumer. Given the tendency of consumers to discount the value of things with a low price, we think this principle is especially important for those consumers who are enrolled in the lowest-cost plans or those who receive substantial support.