7 Ways Medicaid Managed Care Health Plans Can Improve Member Engagement

With the Medicaid redetermination period underway, member engagement matters more than ever. Learn seven potential ways Medicaid managed care health plans can boost their member engagement.

With the Medicaid redetermination period underway, member engagement matters more than ever. June data estimates a remarkable 71% of all Medicaid members disenrolled were due to procedural reasons—where they did not complete the renewal registration process mainly due to out-of-date contact information or a lack of understanding behind the need to renew. This high disenrollment rate significantly impacts Medicaid managed care health plans because it indicates that many of those who were disenrolled are still eligible for their Medicaid coverage and should not otherwise be rolling off.

For states that have not yet kicked off the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous enrollment or are taking a gradual approach, there are a variety of ways that Medicaid managed care health plans can bolster member engagement to minimize the procedural losses in redetermination.

1. Gain a Deeper Understanding of your Members

You may have a general overview of your member demographics like age, gender, and ethnicity, but do you know their pain points on an individual level? Every person comes with health-related challenges, and this is even more important to be mindful of with the Medicaid population. With the utilization of on-hand tools like health risk assessments upon enrollment in a Medicaid managed care health plan, plans can take a deep dive to understand the challenges of their members.

If you can better spot and proactively address what they see as their largest needs first, the more likely they are to engage and stick to their health plan.

2. Drive Health Literacy

While members likely know that they’re on a Medicaid managed care health plan, they might not know what that means and how their plan can help them across various aspects of their life. In a study from the early 2000s, an alarming 30% of Medicaid respondents had health literacy rates below a basic level, the highest proportion of any population. The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has multiple fact sheets helping educate on ways to improve health literacy in print and oral communications. From basic language modifications to having greater cultural competency—there are countless ways for Medicaid managed care health plans to break down long-standing barriers to care related to low levels of health literacy.

Creating health literacy initiatives for the most vulnerable member populations helps educate them about healthcare basics, benefits they are eligible for, and  how they can maximize their plan offerings. Simply put, more educated members become more engaged members.

3. Tackle their Most Critical Social Needs First

By gaining a deeper understanding of members’ needs and increasing their health literacy, you’ll likely uncover what keeps them up at night, especially on their healthcare journey. Is it food insecurity? Is it transportation challenges? If a member’s Medicaid managed care health plan addresses this social need first, a member is more likely to feel seen and taken care of— and be more likely to utilize their other benefits.

This is vital for Medicaid managed care health plans given the unique, pressing non-health-related social needs common among their vulnerable member populations. Once members start utilizing their health plan and benefits to the fullest, the likelihood of the member churning and departing significantly decreases.

4. Personalize Coordinated Communications Using Available Data

Once you address a member’s most pressing social needs, you open the opportunity to further communicate and engage with them. Is there a benefit a member was once using but hasn’t been actively using for a certain period? That could be a great opportunity to custom-fit a reminder message about this benefit to increase their engagement with the plan.

Building a more frequent and useful (for the member) line of communication is mutually beneficial as a member will become used to seeing their health plan name pop up, deepen their trust of the health plan, and become more likely to respond and engage.

5. Meet Members Where They Are

What’s the point of a great personalized message for a member if they never see it? It’s important for Medicaid managed care health plans to be able to meet members where they are in their healthcare journey and their preferred (and available) channels of communication. Whether this means sending enrollment messaging via postal mail, e-mail, phone calls, or even SMS text messaging, health plans must explore and adapt to what reaches members best.

In addition to sending messages to the member, meeting members where they are might mean strategically interacting with members in person. By harnessing available care data, health plans can send representatives to common care centers like adult care facilities or dialysis centers to promote in-person plan engagement. Getting out and meeting members where they frequently receive care (whether preventative and/or recurring) can help health plans build relationships and improve overall engagement.

6. Tap into Community Partnerships

A great way to multiply the ability to meet members where they are is to tap other local community organizations as partners. This could be community, religious, or educational organizations that your member population will know and have a greater trust in listening to right off the bat. Similarly, health plans can take a boots-on-the-ground approach and have representing staff go into the community on behalf of the plan to meet current and potential members at public locations like libraries, food pantries, community centers, and cultural/ethnic or religious-based centers.

Many managed care organizations have found success in taking this type of grassroots approach to growing their member engagement. Medicaid managed care health plans that drive member trust by establishing community relationships and partnerships create greater engagement with current members while opening invaluable pathways to additional member acquisition.

7. Collaborate with Provider Partners and Lean on Them

Outside of the local community groups that can help foster patient trust and engagement, Medicaid managed care health plans can look to their preexisting network of provider partners. Every provider partner can offer unique data and different touchpoints offering new insights.

Especially during periods of high call volume and internal needs for Medicaid managed care health plans (such as the ongoing redetermination period), plans can look to their benefit providers to shoulder potential call volume and member support.

With these seven engagement-enhancing opportunities, Medicaid managed care health plans can better navigate the redetermination period, reduce accidental member churn, and prepare to thrive in the period afterward.

SafeRide Health’s customizable and data-driven approach to non-emergency medical transportation allows us to continue to collaborate with and empower our Medicaid managed care health plan partners to foster better member engagement. We remain excited about continuing to grow our relationships with the largest Medicaid managed care health plans as well as their members by acting as an extension of the plans themselves.

To learn more about SafeRide’s differentiated, technology-first approach to non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid managed care health plans, get in touch with us.

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