Eight million people in the United States enrolled in a private health insurance exchange for the 2016 benefit plan year, a 35 percent increase over the prior year, estimates Accenture. Still, many insurers have not pushed forward to shift more business to their private exchange. Some may even view this technology as only a defined contribution solution.
Why hold back when clear benefits are at hand? According to the recent Health Check Survey, more than half of insurers who responded (52%) report that their private exchange has had a positive impact on market share. In an industry rocked with change and disruption, insurers are wise to use every tool at their disposal to stand out and build business in their market. We’ve observed three great ways to use your private exchange to increase enrollment and grow revenues, while reducing administrative costs.
Tip #1: Offer Great Products and a Brilliant Consumer Experience
From the start, your private exchange gives you the means to shake up your market and offer consumers and employers something new: A broad range of health and ancillary products and an easy, intuitive ecommerce experience from shopping and enrollment all the way through billing and payment.
Tip #2: Target Amenable Employers
Certain types of employers will be more prepared and more enthusiastic about using a private exchange. Employers with between 50 and 1000 employees that are already technology competent, such as companies in software development, software sales, IT consulting, etc., have workforces that are well-equipped with office and home computers. They will typically have a technically capable benefits administrator as well. Insurers can easily use Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes as a way to target employers in key fields for outreach.
Tip #3: Onboard in the Low-Stress Offseason
Open enrollment season is stressful enough for everyone – insurers, sales staff and brokers, employers and their employees. There is actually no need to rush to onboard new employer groups during open enrollment. Many insurers opt to bring employer groups on their private exchange after open enrollment to avoid the extra stress. Plus, they reap the benefits of easier administration and lower costs for the ongoing life event changes and other updates throughout the year. When the next open enrollment season rolls around, everyone is ready to go. It’s also a great way to gather success stories your sales team can use going forward.