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The Power of Strategic Health Insurance Communications

The first of three articles in our webinar blog series, "Uncovering Member Insights: The Power of Strategic Health Insurance Communications."

The Power of Strategic Health Insurance Communications

At our recent webinar, "Uncovering Member Insights: The Power of Strategic Health Insurance Communications," we shared member health insurance communication experiences and preferences based on a survey we commissioned with Jason Dorsey and his team from The Center for Generational Kinetics.

We were motivated by necessity to conduct this survey of 1,000 U.S. health insurance members. We simply could not find any data like this in the market. Our findings include:

  • Current experiences with healthcare communications by generation
  • The effect of insurer communications on selection and re-enrollment
  • Print and digital health insurance communication preferences
  • Making the switch to digital communications

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We started with a couple of benchmark questions to get a sense of where members are in knowledge and satisfaction of their health insurance. Overall, the majority of participants said they are confident in knowing how health insurance works, with men more likely than women saying they're experts regarding their understanding of health insurance. When it comes to satisfaction levels, 68 percent of members are satisfied or very satisfied with their health insurance company. 

From there, we dove into member communication experiences. We discovered that almost half of all consumers would switch insurers if they had communication issues. Specifically, being difficult to understand and/or not delivered via their preferred method are important enough issues to cause almost half of all consumers to leave. Millennials and men feel the strongest when it comes to this topic: 55 percent of millennials and 51 percent of men said that communication issues would cause them to switch insurers.

When it comes to selection and re-enrollment, 93 percent of members say convenient, quality communication is an important factor in choosing a health insurer. We also broke this question down by generation: 98 percent of baby boomers say that communication is one of the most important factors, followed by Gen Xers at 94 percent and millennials at 89 percent. (Recognizing that not all respondents have the responsibility of choosing their health insurer, respondents answered as they would if they did have that responsibility and/or based upon how they would expect their employer to make the decision on their behalf.)  

We also asked, “How personalized do you want communication from your health insurance provider to be?” More than eight out of 10 members said they want their insurer communications to be more personalized to their needs. This rang true across all generations, the geography of the U.S. and genders.

When it comes to personalization, insurers can start small. Simply including the member’s name goes a long way toward how they immediately treat that communication. Taking it a step further, leveraging data to provide insurance utilization optimization tips, as well as health and wellness information, is extremely important. These are the opportunities we heard not only from survey participants, but also from our clients.

These key findings indicate that it is incredibly important to get communications right. In the next post in this blog series, I will share our survey results regarding member delivery preferences.

To find out more member insights, download our report or view our on-demand webinar, "Uncovering Member Insights: The Power of Strategic Health Insurance Communications."