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FitOn HealthMay 225 min read

7 Things Employers Should Consider When Changing Health Plans

Key Takeaways:

  • Ensuring a seamless transition is crucial for maintaining member satisfaction and loyalty during plan changes.
  • Leveraging technology and proactive communication can help minimize disruptions and build trust with members.

Buying, changing or adding new benefits to health insurance plans can be a daunting task for both employers and their members. The transition process often comes with the potential for disruptions, confusion, and dissatisfaction. 

One study found that about 1 in 5 members left a commercial insurer every year. However, among those who left, about 1 in 3 came back to the same insurer within 5 years. This suggests that despite a lot of people leaving in the short term, insurers can still gain from focusing on members' health in the long run. Commercial insurers' enrollee turnover is influenced by members switching insurers, members changing employers, and employers opting to switch insurers. With careful planning and execution, employers can navigate these changes smoothly while ensuring member satisfaction and loyalty remain intact. 

Adding new benefits (such as a health and wellness program) to a health plan can be an exciting opportunity to enhance member satisfaction and promote overall well-being. It's essential to approach this addition thoughtfully to ensure that people fully understand and appreciate its value.

What does member disruption mean to payers?

Member disruption involves various factors when changing health insurance plans or introducing new benefits. It has the potential to impact members' perceptions of the plan and the associated benefits, as well as the challenges and workload faced by the payer in executing these changes. Plus, payers consider the cost-benefit implications across different areas, evaluating how the changes may affect overall healthcare costs and outcomes.

For payers, member disruption can have several implications such as the following:

  • Cost impact: Changes in health status can impact the cost of providing healthcare coverage. For example, if there's a sudden increase in the number of members with chronic conditions, it can lead to higher healthcare expenses for the payer.
  • Utilization patterns: Disruption may result in shifts in healthcare utilization patterns. Payers need to adapt their networks and resources to accommodate these changes effectively.
  • Risk management: Member disruption can affect the risk profile of the payer's member population. Payers need to assess and manage these risks effectively to ensure the financial stability of their healthcare plans.
  • Customer experience: Changes in member demographics or health needs may impact the overall customer experience. Payers should improve their communication strategies to help members navigate their healthcare journey. They should also offer personalized services and provide additional support.

Let’s explore essential strategies employers should consider to enhance experience and minimize disruption during health insurance plan changes.

7 Key strategies for enhancing member experience and minimizing disruption during health plan changes


1. Clear communication channels

Effective communication is crucial when it comes to health insurance plan changes. Employers should proactively communicate the introduction of the new benefit, highlighting its benefits, features, and how it aligns with the organization's commitment to employee health and wellness. Employers must also establish clear and accessible communication channels to keep individuals informed throughout the process. This might include information about the reasons for the change, the new plan offerings, and any action steps members need to take. 

Utilizing multiple communication mediums such as email, newsletters, company intranet, mobile apps, and informational sessions can help make sure everyone receives the information they need.

2. Ongoing education and support

It’s normal for individuals to feel uncertain or anxious about changes to their health plans. To alleviate some of that stress, employers should proactively provide education and support to address concerns, questions, or misconceptions. 

Hosting webinars, Q&As, and providing FAQs and contact information can help people feel more confident during the transition. Personalized assistance can help them understand how to take advantage of the new program and incorporate it into their daily lives. 

3. Personalized assistance

Recognizing that each situation may be unique, employers should offer personalized assistance to address individual concerns and preferences. This can involve one-on-one consultations with benefits specialists or offering online tools and resources tailored to specific needs. By demonstrating a commitment to personalized support, employers can enhance trust and satisfaction during the transition.

4. Leveraging technology

Technology can help streamline change management and enhance member experience. Employers should use digital tools to help employees sign up for benefits, access plan details, and communicate easily.

Online enrollment portals, mobile apps, and virtual assistance features help members manage benefits and complete tasks. These tools simplify the process. Members can easily access their benefits and complete administrative tasks.

5. Transparency and accountability

Maintaining transparency and accountability throughout the transition process is essential for fostering trust and confidence among members. Employers should openly communicate any changes to coverage, costs, or provider networks, ensuring that members understand how these adjustments may impact them. Additionally, establishing clear channels for feedback and addressing member concerns promptly demonstrates a commitment to accountability and responsiveness.

6. Ask for continuous feedback

Effective communication is a two-way street, and employers should actively ask for feedback from members to gauge their satisfaction and address any areas for improvement. Implementing surveys, focus groups, or feedback forms can provide valuable insights into member experiences and preferences. 

Employers can then use this feedback to refine their approach, address common concerns, and make adjustments as needed to enhance member satisfaction. Employers should regularly monitor the program's usage and effectiveness. They should ask for feedback from members to improve it and ensure it meets their changing needs and preferences. 

7. Ongoing support

Even after the transition to a new health plan or addition of a supplemental benefit is complete, employers should continue to provide support and resources to ensure a positive ongoing experience for members. This could mean giving out educational materials on how to use plan benefits. It could also involve providing access to wellness programs and resources for managing chronic conditions. Additionally, keeping communication open for any further questions or concerns is important.

How FitOn Health can help

Health plan changes can be difficult for both employers and members to navigate. However, by following these seven strategies, employers can improve the member experience and reduce disruptions during transitions. By prioritizing clear communication, personalized support, and leveraging technology, employers can build trust, foster loyalty, and ensure that people feel supported throughout the process.

FitOn Health provides a seamless transition for health plan members, leading to improved satisfaction, better health outcomes, and a more positive experience for everyone involved. Designed with beneficiaries in mind, FitOn Health offers commercial health plans an industry-leading personalized benefits experience without the premium cost. Members can access condition-based health education, premium fitness classes, nutrition and mental health courses, plus the largest variety of in-person experiences – in one solution.