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Product, data, and engineering teams at health plans have been hard at work building solutions to meet the January 1, 2023 price transparency mandates. As we inch closer to the deadline, marketing teams need to roll-up their sleeves and dive in, if they haven’t already. Now is the time to begin educating members on their new or improved cost solutions–along with how those solutions fit in with all the rest of the tools they have available today.

In a recent AHIP webinar, Carol Kruse, former CMO of Cambia Health Solutions and Heather Burton, VP of Marketing for HealthSparq, held a conversation about marketing to members around price transparency. The conversation yielded some powerful insights for health plan marketing teams to consider as they craft their outreach, education, and engagement strategies for 2023.

In the session, Heather shared new research that found almost 60% of 25-44 year olds avoided care due to unknown costs. Surprisingly, the type of care they were skipping was likely fully covered by their insurance, including preventative screenings and annual wellness visits. Heather noted, “This really underscores the need for health literacy and education that goes beyond price transparency.”

As we look at how marketers can educate and engage their members, Carol shared insights from her experience at consumer brands EPSN and Coca-Cola, in addition to  regional health plan Cambia Health Solutions. “Our customer service team had so much heart, they weren’t timed to get off the phone but instead rated on if they helped the member solve all their problems. The human touch is just as important as what you are providing online….in your emails and words on the website, acknowledge and validate how people feel to help them understand. The health plan plays a very important role in helping people,” was one important insight Carol shared.

By pairing consumer research and best practices, Heather and Carol shared tips for engaging members with not only cost tools but with their benefits overall. With these insights in mind, below are three things marketers should do now, to be ready for January 1, 2023:

  1. Understand your specific cost transparency member experience. Connect with product teams now, so you can share the value with members.
  2. Generate internal excitement to build support with member-facing teams on how they can better engage members with their new solutions.
  3. Create personalized and regular communications plans. Build the topic of cost estimates into your editorial calendar and educate on the basics of what is covered and how to find resources.

View the full AHIP webinar or download the Price Transparency Member Marketing guide for specific subject line and email copy templates, as well as additional tips for engaging members with price transparency solutions.