Follow the Money: a New Strategy for Health Plans

Follow the Money: a New Playbook for Health Plans

The phrase “follow the money” became popular after the Deep Throat character in All the President’s Men used it to imply that where money is exchanged, one can find political corruption. Money can indeed serve as a compass, but where it leads doesn’t always have to be negative. In fact, for health plans, money may actually be the key to achieving several business goals, including the holy grail of increased consumer engagement.

The power of member engagement

To find success in the consumer funding market, health plans must differentiate themselves from the competition, which has grown more intense in recent years. As outlined in Big Competition Has Entered the HSA Market: Here are 4 Ways to Compete on Value, “some of these new entrants are startups focused on a piece of the puzzle, while others bring their powerful reputation, plentiful resources and enticingly low prices.”

To create meaningful differentiation, health plans should offer:

  1. An exceptional member experience. The better the member experience, the more referrals you’ll get and the better retention you’ll have.
  2. Integrated solutions. Members that have access to all they need within a single solution have little reason to leave. Integrated solutions also provide the opportunity to cross-sell members and bring in additional revenue streams.
  3. Lower cost. The right cost will prevent members from being priced out of coverage or leaving over premium increases.

To have any hope of achieving the above, health plans must be tightly engaged with members – delivering the right tools and strategies at the right moments to help them make the best decision. Over time, this will hold their attention, build trust and lead to further engagement. Unfortunately, many health plans, despite great effort on their part, haven’t found the right process to see this come to life. Outdated tools that don’t offer crucial insight combined with accounts that consumers simply set and forget lead to stagnant activity and disengagement.

Where money comes into play

Data on how consumers view banking and health apps has provided incredible insight into where health plans must focus to achieve better member engagement. Although consumers rank healthcare apps and banking apps equally, they engage with and continue to use banking apps at more than double the rate of healthcare apps. This tells us that apps and accounts related to money hold consumers’ attention far more.

The key for health plans, then, is to meet members in the accounts they offer that relate to money, such as a health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and incentive accounts. Health plans that make these consumer funding accounts a priority and invest resources in them will find a rich source of consumer engagement.

Completing the engagement cycle

Knowing where to find attentive consumers is the first piece of the puzzle. The second involves providing consumers with the financial tools to spur engagement. The goal is to give members insights that help them make better decisions about their healthcare dollars, leading to some kind of financial reward. For example, smart technology (like the Alegeus Smart Account experience) can alert someone to the best place to purchase their prescriptions, saving them money and motivating them to return for further guidance.

Watch our session for five practical tips for leveraging funding accounts to grow your business – and for more detail on the power of consumer funding accounts to drive engagement.

Watch our consumer funding session

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