Whether you are just updating your current product benefits, are offering a new plan benefit package (PBP), new product, or service area, or are new to Medicare Advantage altogether, now is the time to start planning for the 2018 bid submission.
It is best practice in the bid process to utilize a working team approach, with one clear leader. The team should include representatives from the following areas to ensure the best product is brought to market, and, when it is offered, that the implementation of the product is seamlessly implemented. Some of the members who should be included are:
- Medical and Health Management
GHG believes, at the beginning of the bid process, it is important to level-set the team on the marketplace. Some of the analyses we typically like to present include:
- Service area demographics
- Medicare penetration
- Current membership analysis
- Enrollment trend analysis
- Results of the Annual Election Period (AEP): Who are the winners and losers this AEP, and why?
- Product analysis
- Benefit analysis
- Competitive analysis
Strong planning is key in the bid process. You want to understand the goals upfront and make sure your product and benefits can deliver. We have found weekly meetings, a detailed project plan with strong leadership, and project management skills are critical if you want to limit the number of iterations and last-minute back and forth that brings along the increased risk of errors.
Having a strong operations component incorporated in the process helps identify the planning needed to seamlessly implement benefit changes and pinpoint impacts on customer service. The Sales and Marketing team are key in characterizing product differentials and how the benefits will be sold, and not only how the sales team will sell, but if the Sales team can sell the benefits.
We could go on, but you get the importance of every department working together and pulling their weight. GHG has seen the success of plans who get the need for a deliberate process, as well as those plans in nail biting situations – hoping it all comes together at the end. Let me tell you, the first way is always preferable! So get your analysis started, put your project plan together, and start putting together your team if you haven’t already!
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