The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the business world on its head, and health insurance has been impacted in ways other industries haven't. All at once, health insurance companies have been challenged to simultaneously determine how to manage costs associated with COVID-19 testing and treatment for their members, manage disruptions to provider networks and adapt to remote working situations for their employees, all while ramping up member communications, promotional messaging and public relations strategies to convey how they're responding to the pandemic.
If there were ever a time for health insurance companies to embrace innovative approaches around communications so that their workforce can focus more efficiently on core processes, now is that time.
Simple, low-cost ways to make your marketing more efficient
Health insurance is one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. There are a lot of necessary details in health insurance communications, like privacy, compliance and security considerations, that can't be ignored. While all businesses want to focus the core of their energy on the big picture, it's critical within the realm of health insurance to make sure you properly address these necessary intricacies of daily operations as well. Fortunately, there are ways to do both effectively.
1. Outsource highly manual processes
Your member communications teams likely spend a lot of time and resources producing mandated communications, including standardized model documents, such as ANOCs and EOCs, prior authorization notifications, provider directories, Section 508 PDF compliance and more. These types of communications are tedious and time-consuming to develop, and they tend to use up resources. Moving this huge block of communications out of house frees up your team, your server space and your systems so you can allocate them toward higher-impact objectives.
2. Review current communications
Taking an inventory of your current communications, including everything from ID cards and welcome kits to ad hoc print jobs, is a crucial starting point in determining whether you're utilizing the most cost-effective methods for both automated communications and specialized outreach efforts, as well as for identifying opportunities for potential member touchpoints you may be missing. A truly solutions-driven approach begins with an objective evaluation of your communications library, so you'll know where you're starting from and what pieces need to be put in place to better connect with your accounts based on the needs of their specific populations.
3. Identify opportunities to create electronic communications
Electronic communications aren't just faster to deliver to clients and members; they also deliver a lot of information to you in terms of click rates and other metrics that let your stakeholders know who is reading and reacting to your communications. This type of information is extremely valuable in helping your team hone their marketing approach and tactics. Taking advantage of opportunities to create more electronic communications makes sense, but only if those communications are engaging and user-friendly. This can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you're not utilizing a tool that can help you create automated client communications that are still highly targeted and personalized.
4. Increase your opt-ins for electronic communications
While younger generations have been more open to receiving communications from their health insurance companies electronically, older adults and people who are not as technologically savvy have been slower to move away from mailed letters and hard-copy documents. The dial has been gradually turning, and recent events have hastened the trend. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a stronger demand among all demographics to get fast, efficient and accurate information. This presents a substantial opportunity for health insurance companies to increase the volume of members and clients who consent to receive electronic communications, and it's one that shouldn't be ignored.
5. Empower your team with collaboration tools and software
You still haven't fully unlocked your team's potential if you're not investing in team collaboration tools and production management software to make their jobs more efficient. You can make it easier for colleagues and departments to work together by providing tools such as:
- Online proofing and approval tools— Document review software allows your team to track edits and approvals in real-time, so team members can easily view one another's comments, whether across the room or across the globe. This means you won't need to overload your email system by sending files back and forth or hassle with version control issues that can bog down your process. These tools can also help standardize document formatting for greater consistency across all communications.
- Content management systems— Automated content management systems offer a turnkey approach to housing approved marketing and sales content that's already been finalized to meet your company's branding standards, and can easily be delivered across multiple channels.
- Sales enablement— Make it easy for your sales teams to produce personalized communications for current accounts and prospective members for both electronic and on-demand print distribution without having to engage marketing resources.
Rethink what's possible
These are just some of the strategies that can help your business rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19. At Toppan Merrill, we're leveraging 50+ years of expertise to help health insurance companies reimagine their communications goals and processes to enhance the experience for clients and health plan members. Our experts understand the needs of your business communications and how to leverage your team's strengths toward even greater, more sustained engagement with your members and customers.
Never before has it been more important to get the right information into the right hands at the right time. Give your team a proactive advantage. We can show you how.