New Medicare App Gives PDP Sponsors Opportunity to Drive Member Engagement

Elderly woman and middle-aged woman smile while looking at smartphone Elderly woman and middle-aged woman smile while looking at smartphone

Reaching out to eligible members about the new ‘What’s Covered’ Medicare app offers a positive moment to improve benefits utilization, satisfaction and loyalty.

Helping members navigate their coverage options can be a powerful way to boost loyalty.

By Carlos Baltodano, JD, Vice President of Healthcare and Government Solutions

On Feb. 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new app to give Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) members direct access on a mobile device to some of the most-used content on Medicare.gov. Whether they’re in the doctor’s office, hospital, a coffee shop or in their own living rooms, members can use the “What’s Covered” app to get accurate information instantly on whether Medicare covers a specific medical item or service.

While this is great news for Medicare members and their caregivers, it’s also an opportunity for Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) sponsors, including Medicaid managed care payers serving dual-eligible consumers, to engage their members.

Ubiquity’s healthcare team is working with our clients to proactively call eligible members to notify them about the free app and provide tips on accessing all the pertinent information now available at their fingertips.

Using a positive moment, like the launch of the new app, to engage members is a powerful way to build loyalty and benefit utilization for Medicare and your prescription drug plan specifically. After all, the better members understand their coverage, costs and how to access preventative care, the more they will be able to realize their benefits, and the more satisfied they are likely to be.

Although we’ve just begun our outreach related to the new CMS app, we rely on outbound calling as an important tool for ongoing engagement and troubleshooting. For example, proactive outreach helps us resolve issues for members before those issues turn into official grievances filed with CMS, which can have negative impacts on PDP sponsors.

Easy-to-use app includes understandable information about everything from deductibles to preventive care.

For PDP sponsors and those Medicaid managed care payers with dual populations, who want to help their members learn about and navigate the new app, we recommend highlighting the following key features:

  • It’s free and available on Google Play and the Apple App Store
  • Easy-to-use home screen where members or caregivers can search terms and services
  • App developed and released by CMS to encourage open use
  • Apple icons identify preventive care services
  • Plain language deductible information

In its healthcare outlook for 2019, published in Modern Healthcare, Deloitte notes that there will be more focus on population health this year, including efforts to use health care resources more effectively and efficiently to improve the lifetime health and well-being a specific population.

If you’re serving Medicare Part A or B members, talking to them about the What’s Covered app is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Contact us to learn more about Ubiquity’s approach to helping health plan sponsors engage their members to improve satisfaction and loyalty to drive retention.

Carlos Baltodano leads Ubiquity Global Services’ healthcare team in delivering solutions to CMS-regulated and commercial healthcare partners from Ubiquity production facilities in the U.S., the Philippines and Latin America. Carlos brings more than 10 years of continuous experience within the managed care industry developing contact center, claims and utilization management solutions. He can be reached at carlos.baltodano@ubiquity.com.