Another season of open enrollment has come and gone. Whether your organization focuses on Medicare or private insurance, you likely experienced your busiest period of the year. While it’s easy to take a deep breath and shift back to a slightly slower day-to-day pace, now is the time to reflect on open enrollment in 2023 and determine how to make improvements in 2024.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How did your staff hold up? Did they experience burnout? Is that burnout continuing to linger?
Did you have enough staff to handle the volume of new enrollments and renewals? If you augmented your full-time staff with temporary staff, how did the two groups work together? Did your temporary staff have the right experience and skills to make a quick impact?
As you assess your organization’s open enrollment performance and ask these important questions, here is some actionable staffing advice to consider in 2024, directly from our expert health insurance staffing team.
Find people with fitting soft and hard skills.
Individuals working for health plan organizations must be motivated and high-energy to handle the fast-paced environment that accompanies growth. Talent must also be compassionate and caring, as the people choosing or renewing plans may be struggling. Some of the soft skills hiring managers might look for in a team member, particularly a patient-facing team member, include:
- Communication skills
- Attention to detail
- Organizational skills
- Time management skills
- Flexibility and stability
Hard skills are a little easier to find as they’re measurable and often based on related healthcare experience. Here are some priority hard skills that are desirable:
- Project management skills
- Technical skills
- Knowledge of medical terminology
- Analytical skills
- Knowledge of coding languages
Find people with very specific experience.
Of course, it’s critical to find people with relevant experience for virtually any professional position, but here, very specific experience is vital. Offering health plans is highly nuanced and regulatory. Having people who have worked for commercial insurance plans or even worked for health plans offering MA puts you a step ahead of your competition. These individuals often know the market and what consumers want, the ins and outs of the health plan offerings, and the process of getting people enrolled.
The right skills and experience can translate to improved ratings and reviews.
The better suited a person to a role, the more productive, efficient, and positive they are. This could even translate to better star ratings from Medicare for Medicare Advantage plan providers. Part of the star rating is based on the services provided, and happy employees tend to offer better service. A company that rates highly for top-notch customer service will stand out to potential consumers searching for the right MA Plan.
The same goes for private plans. Better customer service, particularly during Open Enrollment, goes a long way to growing your business now, and in the future, as members become ambassadors for your plans.
Finding the talent required to make an emerging MA plan or private plan stand out isn’t easy. And an organization looking to hire the best people must put in time and effort. You need individuals with the right experience who can also provide compassionate service to members and help grow the business by acquiring new members and improving plan offerings. Yes, this is easier said than done, but the future of your organization depends on it.
To learn more about MA’s growth and impact, get our full guide, “How Health Plans Can Prepare for a Rise in Medicare Advantage Enrollment.”
To learn what your staffing partner must deliver for open enrollment success, read “Staffing for Open Enrollment Success: Four Must-Haves from Your Staffing Partner.”