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Re-thinking the rules of engagement

At Collective Health, we approach health benefits engagement as an ongoing journey that learns and grows with each member.


Driving improved outcomes through a holistic member journey.

The average employee doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about health benefits. But then, inevitably, something happens in an employee’s life that changes everything. A loved one gets sick. That weekend ski trip goes awry. A raspy cough just won’t go away. In those moments, health benefits go from an afterthought to all you can think about.

Traditional engagement tools just don’t work. That’s why we’re doing things differently at Collective Health.

It’s also in those moments that you hope your employees engage in all the health and wellness programs you’ve put in place. But, more often than not, they don’t. Instead, they put on blinders and consume healthcare the same way they always have. As a result great programs sit unused, employees are unaware, and benefits teams are left trying figure out what, if any, ROI these programs actually have.

We hear from employers constantly that traditional engagement tools just don’t work. That’s why we’re doing things differently at Collective Health.

When we think about engagement, we don’t think it’s solved just by better Open Enrollment materials or a better website. We also don’t think it can be boiled down to simple metrics like registration rates or call volume. Instead, we approach health benefits engagement as an ongoing journey that learns and grows with each individual member.

Here’s what that engagement journey looks like at Collective Health. There are four parts.


1. Getting Attention

These days, the most difficult thing to get (and maintain) is attention. Open Enrollment and New Hire orientation are essential opportunities to introduce new programs. However, you have to be realistic that a) employees are being hit with a lot of information at the same time and b) the average employee doesn’t need healthcare at that specific moment. How do we address those challenges? First, we obsess over the design and clarity of our materials so that they stand out amongst the noise. We think clever design and clarity are essential to catching an employee’s attention. Second, we focus on encouraging employees to take specific actions at that moment –– download the mobile app, add the Collective Health phone number to your phone, set up an online account. That way, when the employee actually needs healthcare, the simple engagement blocking and tackling is already out of the way.

How we know it’s working: When’s the last time you had an employee tweet about how great your Open Enrollment materials are?

Wow, @CollectvHealth presentation/packaging/app/website… Amazingly well done. Nice job, guys (and band-aids are an awesome touch).

— Alex Priest (@alexpriest) January 2, 2016

2. Building Trust

It’s true, you only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s why we are incredibly focused on making a member’s first interaction with Collective Health a valuable one. That first interaction is often a call to a Member Advocate, our concierge support team. We think of each of those calls as core to building a trusted relationship with the member, which is why we’ve invested so heavily in our team. And this isn’t your average call center. Collective Health Member Advocates graduate from top universities, go through an intense training process, and are supported by custom-built technology. That enables them to answer coverage questions across medical, pharmacy, dental, and vision benefits, help explain or troubleshoot any healthcare claim, or connect members to any other health programs available to them. The little things matter, too –– there’s no phone tree, wait times are measured in seconds (not hours), and if we say we’re going to call the member back with an answer, we do.

How we know it’s working: We measure Net Promoter Score (NPS) after every Member Advocate interaction. Our 2017 year-to-date score is 76. That’s a level of service more like Apple (NPS 72) than the health insurance industry median (NPS 8).

3. Driving Influence

Once you’ve established a trusted relationship with the member, you have permission to help them navigate their healthcare choices. To us, that means both helping them make smart choices and empowering them with the right tools so they can make smart choices on their own. For instance, we think it’s a great sign if a member starts by calling one of our Member Advocates, but over time, feels more and more comfortable using our mobile and online tools to find answers on their own. Our Member Advocates are always more than happy to pick up the phone, but we strongly believe that real engagement is driven by empowerment.

How we know it’s working: Over time we see employees migrate from calling a Collective Health Member Advocate to self-servicing online. That’s the most effective way for employees to understand and engage in their health benefits. A year over year comparison of the same group of members on the Collective Health platform shows a 33 percent decrease in members who relied exclusively on our Member Advocates for answers. At the same time, we saw a 44 percent increase in the number of members who uses our self-service tools.

4. Proving Outcomes

Hope is great. Data is better. We spend a lot of time digging into the numbers to understand what’s working and what’s not. Are employees opening emails? Are they using our websites and mobile tools? Are they engaging in more programs? Are they actually changing their healthcare behavior as a result? If you aren’t measuring your impact, you probably aren’t making any.

How we know it’s working: Our clients see a 2x increase in program engagement after switching to Collective Health.

The fact is, employee engagement is hard. But it is possible.

The fact is, employee engagement is hard. But it is possible. At Collective Health, we partner with employers who are passionately committed to taking care of their people. That means looking beyond vanity metrics, and obsessing over how to meet members where they are to drive awareness, trust, influence, and outcomes.

Trust us, it’s worth it.

Want to learn more about partnering with Collective Health? Join CEO Ali Diab in our on-demand webinar for an overview of the Collective Health platform.

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