We posted a picture on our company Facebook page this morning that – at first glance – doesn’t seem all that exciting. It’s a shot one of our team members captured late last night as he walked to his car, showing bright lights beaming from our office windows in an otherwise dark building. Some of our employees were still inside, hard at work helping our customers who were trying to meet the December 15 open-enrollment deadline (to have their coverage begin on January 1). Later this afternoon, I thought about that picture again.
I remembered last December, when open enrollment on the individual market was first underway nationwide, and all of the struggles consumers faced to get covered through the public exchanges. Once the dust began to settle in late March, no matter what side you fell on politically, you had to consider that health reform was an enormous undertaking for this country, and those struggles (at least some of them) were inevitable. But now, here we are one year later, and so much has changed for the better. At least from our perspective.
First, yesterday alone, our call center staff received twice as many calls than we originally projected. In addition, our call volume in general has increased significantly from last year at this time. What does that all mean? People are in fact shopping for coverage, and that’s a very good thing for everyone.
Something we learned last December: when it comes to health insurance, most consumers wait to the last minute to buy a health plan. That still holds true for 2015, as yesterday (December 15, the last day to buy coverage that begins on January 1, 2015), we had 10% more calls than our busiest day in the 2014. Again, all positive stuff as it shows people are getting covered. From an internal perspective, it also tells us our member communication engine is engaging people through emails and other methods, better than we anticipated.
We’ll provide more results later, but I thought it was important to share the (early) good news. And although I’m excited about these wins, what I’m most proud of right now is the great team we have at ConnectedHealth that really came through – not only last night, but all year long. The level of dedication I’ve seen has been incredible – people pulling together to resolve customer issues quickly, triaging and assisting call center staff with enrollment questions. Talk about “all hands on deck.” It was something not captured fully in that Facebook picture, but it was awesome nonetheless.