With a successful—albeit rocky—inaugural open enrollment under its belt, the industry’s sights are now set on improving the 2015 experience and finding new ways to serve the flood of prospects entering the market.
Eight million enrolled in health insurance via the state and federal marketplaces during the 2014 open enrollment cycle. That number is expected to double during the next enrollment period, which opens Nov. 15. By 2020, the Congressional Budget Office projects that 25 million will purchase coverage through insurance marketplaces.
In fact, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created the largest expansion of healthcare coverage in half a century. This includes an estimated 20 million who will be driven to individual plans when their small business employers drop group coverage.
This represents a huge business opportunity for brokers and associations willing to roll out private exchanges to leverage the expanded prospect pool and greater cross-selling opportunities. Other benefits include higher revenues and revenue per customer and less time and effort per sale.
However, as we saw with the last enrollment period, success requires more than a website, a few plans and shopping cart. A profitable marketplace must deliver on consumer expectations for more benefit and carrier options, immediate pricing and product information and a simple enrollment process.
Live customer support is one of the most important features any private exchange can offer, something 72 percent of online consumers identified as a major influencer of their online shopping satisfaction. Real-time access to knowledgeable assistance is even more significant when it comes to individual insurance coverage, a complex process for even experienced shoppers.
Also important is a seamless, user-friendly experience. The easier an exchange is to navigate, the greater the likelihood customers will return and refer others. A private exchange with limited options or that requires an aggregator to compare multiple quotes in several locations will struggle with customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Technology-only private exchange offerings simply cannot deliver on these expectations. A strategic partnership with an industry leader can by providing access to the top carrier and product offerings, technical support, sales and marketing services, revenue models and flexibility required for success.
One such solution is MyConsumerLinkSM, an adaptable, reform-compliant e-shopping platform from HealthPlan ServicesSM (HPS) that makes it easy to cross sell a variety of benefit options from the nation’s top providers, 365 days a year. It offers everything one expects from HPS, including plans from multiple carriers, real-time access to a licensed sales support team, federal public exchange support and a highly-competitive revenue sharing structure.
It also offers automated trigger/lead nurturing emails. This is important. In the absence of nurturing, a whopping 79 percent of marketing leads fail to convert. According to MarketingSherpa, organizations that nurture leads experience a 45 percent lift in lead generation ROI. The Annuitas Group also notes that nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Private exchanges can be a lucrative venture for associations and brokers, or the risk can far outweigh the reward. The difference is the strategic partner entrusted to provide agile technology, varied and quality plan options and expert customer support from initial contact through the life of the policy—and beyond.
Click here or call 877-506-2164 for more information on MyConsumerLink.