In addition to missing incremental premium revenue, health insurers are losing their investments in member acquisition and in member service by not seeking to leverage the brand loyalty they have established with their satisfied customers.
Orlando, FL (Vocus) December 15, 2008
ConnextionsHealth today announced the creation of its Member Transition Services® - a portfolio of technology-driven processes and personal touch points - designed to assist health plans in their effort to mitigate the loss of group (or "commercial") plan members during major life cycle changes such as early retirement, job termination, "aging out" of dependent children, or elimination of health care coverage as a benefit by their employer.
According to a November 2008 study published by McKinsey & Company, most health insurers capture less than 10% of this group "transition" market, which is estimated at approximately $40 billion annually. A market analysis by L.E.K. Consulting suggests there are typically 8.1 million individuals who are in transition at all times, not factoring the current wave of corporate layoffs.
Insight into the significance of this market opportunity was provided at UnitedHealth Group's annual investors' meeting held on December 2nd. At this briefing, the nation's second largest health insurance carrier reported that several factors, including large employers that didn't renew their contracts for 2009, will lead to an enrollment decline of as many as 1.5 million commercial members for UnitedHealth Group in the coming year.
"What's most unfortunate about this missed opportunity," according to Ms. Leslie Pecci, Chief Operating Officer of ConnextionsHealth, "is that a significant percentage of health plan members are satisfied with their coverage, and would likely remain with their current health insurance providers if they were presented with viable alternatives at the appropriate times, and given easy access to decision-making tools."
Supporting this view, a recent Forrester Research survey of more than 2,000 individuals showed that 52% of both employer-sponsored and individually purchased health plan members were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their coverage. Forrester also reported that fewer than 20% of respondents in both categories said that they were unlikely to switch health plans. Ms. Pecci noted, "In addition to missing incremental premium revenue, health insurers are losing their investments in member acquisition and in member service by not seeking to leverage the brand loyalty they have established with their satisfied customers."
To address this growing need to capture a greater portion of the "transitional" market segment, ConnextionsHealth has designed a disciplined process that identifies members who are experiencing life cycle changes; contacts and educates those members regarding their health insurance choices; and facilitates their decision-making process regarding coverage. "There is a very limited window of opportunity for health plans to retain these members," Ms. Pecci points out, "and our process enables plans to move quickly and cost-effectively before their members are lost."
In addition to speed, consumer education is also an important aspect of the Member Transition Services that ConnextionsHealth offers to its health plan clients. As an example, Ms. Pecci cited COBRA insurance, which provides displaced employees with post-employment coverage. "Many consumers don't know there can be lower-cost health insurance alternatives to COBRA that may be better suited to their new circumstances," Ms. Pecci said.
ConnextionsHealth's Member Transition Services include well-trained, licensed health insurance agents; online transaction capabilities including Click-to-Chat; automated voice and email technologies that enhance and expedite customer service; and predictive analytics that deliver actionable data about member behaviors and preferences. ConnextionsHealth has already begun working with two well-known health insurance plans on development of their member transition programs.
For additional information on ConnextionsHealth's Member Transition Services, contact Leslie Pecci at (407) 241-8739 or at lpecci(at)connextions.com.
About Connextions Inc.:
Founded in 1992, Connextions' 2,500 professionals provide technology-based business process solutions for a long list of America's best-known corporate and healthcare organizations, including Kaiser-Permanente, Caremark, FedEx and Sprint. For information, see http://www.connextions.com.
About New Mountain Capital:
Connextions Inc. is a member of the New Mountain Capital portfolio of companies. New Mountain Capital, LLC is a New York-based private equity firm investing for long-term capital appreciation through direct investment in growth equity transactions, leveraged acquisitions and management buyouts. See http://www.newmountaincapital.com.
For additional information:
Gordon G. Andrew
Senior Vice President
Cell: (609) 987-0200