Getting clients to respond to outreach can be challenging. Many factors might lead to a disappearing client, so brokers must be on their A-game.
With the dramatic increase in members looking to enter the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, now is the time to start reaching out to clients. Here are a few ways brokers can contact and retain those hard-to-reach clients.
Explore Creative Outreach Channels and Meet Clients Halfway
Brokers must have a multi-channel communication approach. Using communication channels to target specific groups leads to better response rates.
Email and Mail
Sending notices through email and mail may seem like a no-brainer. But are these common channels always being used to their full potential?
Emails can be automated to send reminders, including regulation changes, open enrollment updates, and standard noticing. Consistent nudges towards action may be the extra push clients need to respond.
Outreach via phone may be the least time-effective communication channel. But getting people on the phone improves the chance of reaching at-risk populations.
A Health Affairs study found that phone calls worked well for Spanish speakers and those with incomes below 150% of the poverty level. Phone calls are also more effective for older demographics with low levels of comfort using online communication.
Phone conversations allow brokers to walk clients step-by-step through the enrollment process. While phone calls may seem outdated, they are an effective channel for those affected by health literacy barriers.
Traditional outreach methods have not been effective in enrolling a younger generation. Young adults with no pre-existing conditions contribute to a large part of the uninsured population.
Individuals with no dependents and no medical conditions tend to pay less attention to their coverage. Sending messages through a portal prevents the dreaded spam folder or junk-mail pile.
Communicate with Other Key Players in the Member Journey
Brokers aren’t the only party interested in giving clients access to coverage. Partnering with Exchanges, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), and community partners can help brokers access client contact information.
COVID-19 saw a spike in relocations. The lack of updated client contact information will become a big issue when the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) subsides expire. To help these individuals, brokers must first establish contact.
Sharing information with others involved with health coverage helps brokers contact hard-to-reach clients. Community outreach partners and providers are often overlooked as vital sources of information. For example, a pharmacist would have a client’s updated contact information. Brokers need to make sure that they have a secure way to transfer client information.
Taking the time to gain access to updated information will make scaling future communication easier.
Find a Market Niche with ICHRA
Brokers are feeling the effects of the decline of traditional group plans. Rising premium prices and a lack of flexibility result in clients constantly entering and leaving a broker’s book of business. Coupled with employees changing jobs, traditional group plans are anything but consistent.
That’s where the new group insurance alternative comes in. The Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) gained traction among thousands of companies. The flexibility of the reimbursement model gives employees the freedom to find insurance that works for them and stick with their brokers.
Even when an employee leaves their job, they can stay enrolled in the ACA. The broker-client relationship is much stronger and can last much longer. This gives brokers time to form close relationships with clients. Keeping track of long-term clients is much easier than manning the rotary door of traditional group insurance.
An ICHRA can increase the possible number of employees that a broker can assist.