Health marketplaces for associations: the value propositionArticle added by David Holton on May 2, 2014
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David Holton

Tampa, FL

Joined: November 19, 2012

The attraction to any association — whether professional, social or political in nature — is directly proportional to shared interests and the value members are able to glean from their association. That’s why the mission of these organizations is to deliver programs, services and resources that benefit members in a tangible way to build loyalty and increase association visibility.

As the health care landscape continues to evolve into a more consumer-driven model, the ability for associations to provide access to individual health care as a value-added benefit to their members will become increasingly difficult, but advantageous. Many carriers are stepping away from the association group option, leaving associations scrambling for a solution for their members. The result: Navigating this current and future health care landscape can be overwhelming for the members seeking medical or Medicare options and other insurance products.

To address this need, many associations are moving to a consumer-driven, tailored health marketplace model, where members can quickly and easily access a specific menu of insurance products to shop, compare and ultimately purchase benefits. Health marketplaces have been introduced into the industry as a flexible alternative to traditional health plan models, allowing offerings to be customized to fit the needs of a particular group.

The value proposition of health marketplaces for associations is high; member groups are able to offer alternative health insurance options to their members while, at the same time, increasing value and loyalty to the group. Provided through a private link on an association’s website, a social media site or from target marketing, these custom-branded health marketplaces can be set up where the members can simply research and purchase from a menu of options on their own time and at the price they choose. And while the choice for a health marketplace offering should be an easy one, many associations will not be able to dedicate the resources needed get this kind of initiative off the ground and maintain it for the long haul.

Associations will need to leverage the know-how of an experienced partner in this process. Recognizing this need, clients will need to address the complexities involved in setting up customized health marketplaces. From front-end licensed sales professionals and call center support, to the technological platform required for back-end processes, the heavy lifting can already be done for you.

Technology and support partners will simply work with associations to design an offering that makes sense for their membership by allowing them access to a platform of fully vetted quality health plans, as well as dental, vision, life, Medicare and other supplemental products. Members access the health marketplace through a private link on the group’s website, and skilled sales professionals take it from there. As partners in this process, technology and support partners create a business model that also allows avenues for associations to generate additional revenue from advertising and marketing arrangements.
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