This post looks at consumers who used a broker to select a Medicare Advantage plan. In our research, we found that this group represents 12% of consumers.
This is a smaller group of purchasers that should be relatively easy to identify. However, even here there are differences and careful onboarding can help reduce churn by identifying those differences.
First, there is the group that pro-actively looked for advice, perhaps relying on a trusted friend or colleague for the referral, and who was walked through what’s available to them. This group of consumers should be better informed. One way to find out is to simply ask what options somebody might have been presented with by the broker. If somebody is unclear about their coverage then it’s worth going through the plan with them to make sure that there will be no surprises.
Second, is a group that came to the broker through advertising. Perhaps they saw an ad on television or they received a flyer. The challenge here is that these consumers were likely looking to see what they could get. It’s a little easier with consumers who quality for the Medicare Beneficiary Program. This is
less about suggesting other options but more about helping somebody realize the most value from the plan they have selected. A good way of doing is to contrast current costs with what they would be if they were enrolled in another plan. But for consumers who are receiving little or no support then it’s
worth spending more time on the consumer education piece, making sure that the participant isn’t going to be surprised by other services and items such as any deductibles, coinsurance or copayments.
Beyond the consumer education piece, we also think that payers have an opportunity to better partner with brokers and to help them beyond any commissions. Brokers find it easier to recommend plans that
they understand better and that will result in referrals and repeat business. Broker education, we think, could be a powerful way of indirectly reducing customer churn.
Payers might also benefit from taking a different approach to leads resulting from broad-based advertising efforts. It’s fairly common for these campaigns to reach consumers who live outside of where a plan might provide coverage. In this case, it could be mutually beneficial to route these leads to a small number of selected brokers who can be trusted to help these consumers make a better, more