What Is Driving Growth in Your Plan?

It’s May, so if you have not formalized your sales and marketing strategy for this Annual Election Period (AEP), now is the time.  At our recent Gorman Health Group 2016 Forum, Carrie Barker-Settles and I had a very insightful discussion with Forum participants about what is driving growth in plans today.

First, membership data analysis.  It is critical to understand your data in order to understand the following about your members:

  • What are the geographic, demographic, and plan selection of new members in the last year, and which plan, marketing tactic, and sales distribution did they come from?
  • You need the same information about voluntarily termed members and any additional data gleaned from survey data.

Next, it is important to conduct a market analysis to review the following:

  • Medicare population and penetration
  • Product and plan trends
  • Benefit design analysis — looking for product and benefit innovation
  • Multicultural diversity
  • Competitive analysis and trends

With this information, you should have a strong idea of what your growth looks like — now you need to understand how to attract it going forward.

Whether or not you are currently attracting the aging in audience, you want it!  Having a young Medicare beneficiary helps drive down costs.  But Medicare beneficiaries are beginning to delay retirement, so developing strategies to capture these folks is probably the most cost-effective program you will have, and having a benefit design that is attractive to this market is critical.

When trying to attract the younger Medicare beneficiary, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollees aging into Medicare will be a strong market — if you are in the ACA market segment.  Plus, you have the opportunity to target enrollees with “like” plans and just enroll them without having them test the outside waters, if you do it correctly.  In addition, this audience is much more attuned to social and online media.  We have found there are online media tactics now entrenched in most media plans, but testing should be continuous since more members will begin to enroll online who have purchased their ACA healthcare online and will expect the same experience with Medicare.

“For continued growth in your plan, make sure you’re leveraging a multi-channel strategy to achieve your sales goals,” said Carrie Barker-Settles, Gorman Health Group’s Director of Sales & Marketing Services. “Placing too much emphasis on one channel may result in unsavory consequence.  Utilizing the right channel for the opportunity will enable you to reach prospects that don’t respond to the standard marketing outlets and help achieve the stretch goal that the sales team is always faced with year after year.”

When looking at the sales channel, this segment continues to diversify.

First, there are the Transition Managers or “Navigators” − Distribution of direct-to-consumer Medicare products to support commercial companies transitioning their members from group plans to defined contribution individual plans.  We have seen this segment grow substantially in the last few years.

In addition, we are beginning to see some transition among plans regarding their sales distribution of contracted agents, captive agents, and employed agents, and mixtures of all of the above with telesales and online sales. Another segment we see gaining popularity is storefronts.  Have you reviewed your strategies among those discussed here today?  If not, make sure you understand from where your opportunity for growth for 2017 will come.  Believe it or not, 2016 is coming to a close quicker than we think.

If you need help in evaluating your marketing and sales strategies, let us know — we are here to help!



Gorman Health Group’s marketing experts have developed strategic plans for hundreds of Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans, Special Needs Plans and Exchange participants. We will work with you to understand your market, mining demographic data for opportunity and finding the gaps in the competitive field into which your plan can fit. Visit our website to learn more about our services >>

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Diane Hollie
Diane Hollie

Diane Hollie is Associate Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Strategy at Gorman Health Group (GHG). In this role, she provides strategic consulting services to ensure organizations maximize their sales distribution and marketing mix. Diane brings GHG clients more than 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and product development for Government programs. Her strong marketing, sales and compliance background has extended to providing compliance guidance for marketing, sales and customer service communications.

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