Accident & Health Insurance: Post-Enrollment Strategy

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Accident & Health Insurance: Effective Channels

Mobile channels and text messaging are two of the most effective in terms of engagement and retention when it comes to communicating with health plan members (i.e. those currently enrolled in a health insurance plan). Mobile channels are preferred by health insurance consumers because consumers find them more satisfying, and health insurance companies who have launched mobile campaigns have seen large increases in engagement. Text messaging is an effective way to reach health plan members because it's fast and this method of communication has very high read rates. Text messaging has been used by health insurance companies to increase re-enrollment rates and close care gaps. Health plan members like to receive reminders via text.


  • A survey of 1,600 U.S. health insurance consumers found that 84% "prefer to interact digitally with their health insurance payer." Survey respondents feel that digital channels, especially mobile, are "more satisfying to use." Additionally, the survey found that this sentiment was true across age brackets.
  • Having digital options to not only shop for insurance, but also to manage their insurance, was found to be of key importance to consumers, according to this survey.
  • It appears that, because mobile communication channels are highly desired among consumers due to their ease of use (as noted above), these channels are capable of amassing a wealth of consumer engagement. This is evidenced by case studies of health insurance companies who have launched mobile marketing campaigns that have generated impressive results, as shown below.
  • One such case is that of Maryland Health Connection, who developed a mobile enrollment app which won them the Best Marketing Technology Campaign Award from the American Marketing Association. MHC's app amassed 100,000 downloads and generated the following engagements: an average of 3,000 inbox notices checked per day, verification documents uploaded an average of 300 times per day, and 50 completed enrollments per day.
  • Another case is that of Allianz, one of the largest insurance providers in the world. They offer health, life and P&C insurance. Allianz set out to increase their consumer engagement and offer personalized promotions on the My Allianz mobile app. The company used FollowAnalytics to do things like "notify a specific user about a reimbursement or the status of the claim." The results of these efforts were a 30% increase in app usage and an out-of-app push notification open rate of over 40%.

Text Messaging

  • A survey of health plan members found that 64% prefer to receive digital communications, such as text. This aligns with the fact that respondents stated they would like to receive more communications from their health plan providers, especially those that would be logically convenient to send via text, such as reminders to make appointments for checkups (60%) and reminders about services (55%).
  • In general, text messages have a 98% read rate due to the fact that they are timely and likely to grab a person's attention.
  • One health payer located in Tennessee found that sending out mobile reminders "have been 50% more effective in closing care gaps, compared to other traditional channels." The payer is also using text messaging to help members re-enroll by sending out reminded to mail in their redetermination packets. This move has almost doubled the engagement rate compared to the previous method (outbound calling) from 12% to 22%.

Research Strategy

To conduct this research, we began by first identifying which communication channels have been reported as the most preferred channels among health/accident insurance consumers. This information was obtained by analyzing consumer survey data and was selected as the first step in this process as it can be logically assumed that communication can be considered more "effective" when it occurs via the consumers' preferred channels. This assumption is supported by survey data taken from 1,600 U.S. health insurance consumers which found that 69% of respondents said "it is very important for their payer to communicate with them through their preferred channel." Next, each channel type was further researched in order to acquire hard data via case studies that show the effectiveness of these channel types with regard to things like engagement and retention.
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Accident & Health Insurance: New vs. Established Customers

Reports show that it is a challenge for insurers to efficiently engage new customers while staying engaged with existing ones. According to, globally, "44% of customers have had no engagements with their insurers in the past 18 months". Also, many insurers use wellness products, rewards, and incentives to improve engagements, and these efficiently attract new enrollments, but it takes more than these to sustain engagements with established customers, and most health insurers are yet to adjust to the demands of their established customers, making 20% of established customers move to other carriers after one year of enrolling, therefore new customers engage with health insurance carriers more often than established customers do.

Comparing Frequency of Engagement

  • According to expert recommendations, creating a balance between engaging new customers and sustaining engagement with established customers, takes an extra effort.
  • Engagement between insurers and established customers come after loyalty has been built, and this will require that the Health insurance carrier has a true knowledge of the customer, achieved through empathy, and personalized services, but many insurers are yet to overcome impersonal relationships with established customers, this stifles engagement between established customers and health insurance carriers.
  • New customer engagement with their health insurance carriers, occurs more frequently than established customer engagement with their health insurance carriers because it is easier to engage new customers earlier than it is to keep them engaged, long term. This is so because, new programs like personalized health coaching, incentives, and the likes, can be fascinating at first, but customers need more than that in the long run, to stay engaged.

Comparing Reasons for Engagement

  • The reasons why customers engage vary, but reports show that most new customers reach out to insurers out of necessity.
  • Already established customers, however, engage for reasons like the need for support, or minor needs like inquiries, "or changing a billing address"

Comparing Method of Engagement

  • New customers are most interested in engaging via digital channels than traditional channels like "surveys and focus groups". They are drawn to insurers who have digital engagement tools, personalized mobile applications, wellness tracking tools, and active social media platforms.
  • Established customers prefer multiple channels that include the traditional phone engagements, as well as "email, chat and even self-service".

Comparing Occasions and Topics of Engagement

  • New customers mostly engage with health insurance carriers in occasions of consultation and purchase, but with the new influx of digital communication platforms, wellness tools, and self-service in the health insurance industry, they engage more frequently with topics like health and new offers.
  • Already established customers, on the other hand, engage when there are new offers or policies, renewal notices, mails, and when they need clarifications.