Health plans can benefit from providing modernized healthcare payment experiences for members. The payment process is the final step in a healthcare consumer’s engagement with their provider and their plan following an appointment – a positive experience can build a firm foundation for a member’s opinions about them.
In today’s digitally connected world, consumers have come to expect convenient and transparent payment information. Health plan members are no exception. Yet, regardless of flexible communication options like email, text and chat, only eight percent of payers could claim “best in class” relative to industry benchmarking (according to a study conducted by Zelis and Aite Novarica). Aligning the healthcare financial experience with consumer expectations for digital engagement can potentially lead to better business outcomes for health plans.
Here are three benefits of providing positive healthcare financial experiences for plan members:
1. Improved member satisfaction
Members want to feel like they are important and their needs matter—and can grow frustrated when plans are behind in what they offer. The result has the potential to become a snowball effect that erodes member satisfaction.
The Problem – It’s frustrating for members when their health plan doesn’t offer a good digital experience. It can create challenges and obstacles in the payment process. For example, a billing process that is complicated or requires a lot of steps can frustrate a member to the point of delayed or non-payment.
The Solution – Providing positive healthcare financial experiences for members plays a role in member satisfaction. When members are satisfied, they are more likely to recommend their health plan to family and friends, which can lead to increased enrollment and revenue growth for the health plan. It’s critical for health plans to prioritize member satisfaction as a key component of their overall strategy.
2. Member trust and loyalty
When members trust their health plans, it can lead to increased loyalty as well as positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
The Problem – A poor healthcare financial experience will erode member trust in the health plan quickly. If members find the process difficult or inconvenient, they may start to question the overall quality of the health plan’s services.
The Solution – Payers must prioritize building and maintaining trust and loyalty with their members as a key component of their overall strategy. Seek out products or platforms with a high Net Promoter Score (NPS), indicating consumer loyalty. Members want post-care experiences that are convenient and hassle-free. They want to be able to access their claims information quickly and easily without having to navigate complicated payment systems or fill out long forms. By building and maintaining trust with members, a health plan can generate repeat business, positive word-of-mouth, a positive brand reputation, higher sales and profitability and cost savings.
3. Member retention
Member trust and loyalty, in turn, increases member retention. When members and employers are satisfied with their health plan, they are more likely to renew their coverage year after year.
The Problem – When payers experience any amount of member churn it costs more to acquire new members.
The Solution – Health plans must consider the diversity of their member base and the increasing comfortability with technology. Offering basic digital options isn’t enough. Consumers want mobile options, transparency regarding their coverage and secure plan communications. By creating a healthcare payment experience that is focused on members, health plans will be in a better position to retain them.
Overall, members want positive healthcare financial experiences which can benefit them. Putting plan members first leads to improved member satisfaction, fosters trust and loyalty, breeds retention and can increase revenue. These benefits can help health plans remain competitive and provide high-quality, positive healthcare financial experiences to their plan members