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Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

By Lindsay Resnick, March 27, 2012

For health plans looking at the period leading up to the Affordable Care Act’s 2014 big launch, it’s a critical time. We’re about to see the most jarring market reforms ever. Even with the uncertainty of the Supreme Court decision and 2012 election, can Plan’s really afford to sit on the sidelines and watch valuable time tick away? The retailization of healthcare is coming, and preparation is key.

Which of reform’s changes are going to stick…which will fade away? How will existing competitors react…which new ones will appear in your markets? Can you move from a B2B to B2C marketing culture?

Tough questions need to be asked (and answered) about legacy core competencies in tomorrow’s reformed marketplace. In other words, sustainability of your health plan’s value chain—the series of individual activities within your enterprise that when linked together, combine to add comparative value to a final products or services.

It’s time for a serious look at four critical areas of focus.  Here are some questions to spark internal debate and begin an ACA transformation assessment:

  1. Brand Position What’s your unique selling proposition in a reformed marketplace likely to see increased competition and disintermediation the individual and small group markets by Exchanges?
  2. Customer Segmentation Are you quantifying and profiling new customer segments that you’ll be serving in 2014: previously uninsured, pre-ex time-bombs, newly subsidized, abandon employees, Medicare boomers, etc. to be sure you have the right product mix?
  3. Customer Acquisition Are marketing’s multi-channel lead generation tactics (e.g., traditional direct response, digital, social media, mobile) being optimized across all distribution outlets (e.g., field agents, telesales, online, mobile, retail)?
  4. User Experience Is your health plan delivering a personalized customer experience driven by retention metrics and built around superior member engagement using a managed touchpoint discipline?

Retail healthcare, product standardization and price transparency levels the playing field. Health plans need to refresh their toolkit of customer acquisition and retention tactics. It means protecting and expanding relationships with their existing customer base across product-lines and market segments. And, to grow market share it means strengthening direct-to-consumer marketing tactics and bolstering sales distribution to facilitate (and influence) customer choice.

For a free copy of the Solutions Brief, "Healthcare Reform Readiness: A Transformation Toolkit", click here:

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