Common Approaches to Member Retention by Health Insurance Plans are Ineffective, New Study Shows

Most Health Plan Members Drop Coverage for multiple Reasons; Integrated Retention Strategy and Senior Management Commitment Are Necessary to Reduce Disenrollment and Improve Balance Sheet.

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Orlando, FL (Vocus) March 2, 2009

Market research conducted on behalf of ConnextionsHealth provides both good and bad news for health insurance providers. The good news: properly managing member disenrollment delivers a significant, positive impact on net enrollment and revenue generation. The bad news: member retention is increasingly difficult for health plans to achieve, and most plans are doing it poorly. A host of economic factors are currently driving unprecedented membership losses at most health insurance plans.

Results of a proprietary study conducted by a leading management consulting firm show:

o    Two-thirds of members in individual health insurance plans have multiple reasons for leaving; these include 6 broad categories, 32 subcategories and nearly 300 distinct root causes for dropping coverage.

o    Root causes of member disenrollment vary widely, based on factors such as plan type, geographic region, sales channel, and most notably a member's tenure with the health plan - which can be identified and addressed by specific stages in the member lifecycle.

o    Traditional phone-based campaigns to capture and analyze disenrollment reasons are ineffective. Exit interviews that lack clear focus and tenacious questioning regarding root causes do not provide health plans with meaningful insight into disenrollement.

o    The majority of disenrollment drivers are controllable. But success in member retention involves sophisticated research into disenrollment drivers; careful design of proactive and reactive retention initiatives; and most importantly, a sustained commitment to member retention from senior management.

o    The most successful disenrollment initiatives by health plans do not approach member retention as an isolated strategy, but also integrate the discipline into their member acquisition and member service programs.

Details on this new research, as well as other valuable market insight on the subject of member retention will be presented at the World Congress Leadership Summit on Member Retention for Health Plans, scheduled for March 18-19 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.

Co-sponsored by ConnextionsHealth, the agenda for this first-of-its-kind forum will feature presentations from leading consulting and research firms, including McKinsey, Gartner and Forrester. Opening keynote Michael Leavitt, the outgoing Department of Health and Human Services cabinet secretary heads a distinguished Summit faculty that includes several health plan executives who will share insights and best practices on member retention, including; Ingrid Lindberg, Chief Experience Officer at CIGNA; John Cheng, VP of Strategic Marketing at Aetna; Steve Nelson, VP of Consumerism and Retail Marketing at Highmark; Thomas Rekart, EVP and Chief Administrative Officer at Bravo Health; and Steven Auerbach, who recently left his EVP role at UnitedHealth Group to serve as President of Connextions Inc.

Through interactive workshops, best practices showcases, keynotes from recognized authorities and panel discussions, attendees will learn how to build, apply and measure member retention strategies designed to yield results similar to those in the new research on the impact of disenrollment programs. For additional information, visit http://www.worldcongress.com/retention.

About Connextions Inc.:
Founded in 1992, Connextions and its ConnextionsHealth unit provide technology, people and industry expertise that enables its clients to grow, retain and serve customers. Connextions client list includes America's best-known corporate and healthcare organizations, including Kaiser-Permanente, Caremark, FedEx and Sprint. For information, see http://www.connextions.com

About World Health Care Congress Leadership Summits:
The World Health Care Congress Leadership Summit Series addresses the most cutting edge issues for health care executives across a wide range of industry sectors. Designed to expand on topics discussed at invitation-only summits during the World Health Care Congress, this series offers new perspectives on established methodologies, and details solutions to foster innovation and change. For more information, please visit http://www.worldcongress.com.

For additional information:
Gordon G. Andrew
Senior Vice President
Connextions, Inc.
(407) 563-4440
Cell: (609) 987-0200

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