The word for 2016 small group enrollment is “stellar”

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Kelly Chrisman, Manager, Producer Relations and Small Business Group

By Kelly Chrisman, Manager, Producer Relations and Small Group

To say it’s been a stellar year in small group sales is no exaggeration. Every month in 2016 has seen record-breaking new and renewal enrollments. By year end, total small group enrollment will have doubled.

We love these results and we appreciate the relationship we have built with our producers, which certainly contributed to our mutual success. We’re closing this year above and beyond expectations, and we want to acknowledge all the diligent work by the sales team and you, our producer partners.

With this very welcome avalanche of new members at year end, our internal staff is now working hard to welcome members and connect them to care and services. We take seriously the need to take care of these members now that they’re with us. It’s a big job, but one that multiple internal departments (sales, membership & billing, contracts, and customer service) are working diligently together to accomplish. We’re using lean management practices to quickly and accurately get groups into the system and ready to go.

Thanks to you and the market, we’re growing

A number of factors contributed to the success of our small group plans in a changing marketplace.

Other carriers in the market implemented changes that led to more groups seeking alternatives this year. In many cases, these changes and your expert guidance led them to sign up with us.

Our excellent quality of care is well known. Plus, our robust networks mean switching carriers involves minimal provider disruption. Combined with a compelling product portfolio, the quality of our care and our providers makes us the strong favorite for many small groups.

As you know, our portfolio is designed especially well to meet the needs of this market segment. We have 10 value-driven Core network plans and six choice-driven Access PPO plans available to small groups. Employers can choose from Core and Access PPO plans covering all metal levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. They also include employee-only and HSA-compatible plans, as well as VisitsPlus plans that allow for unlimited office visits prior to deductible.

Products + rates = strategy for success

Bottom line, we have the plan designs that you and your customers are asking for. The products reflect a years-long process of analysis and tuning. That process included cutting administrative costs, adjusting contracts with provider groups to better manage costs and care, and setting realistic prices.

“We haven’t set our rates artificially low,” said Lonnie Goodell earlier in the year. Goodell is the director of Producer Management and Small Group. “They are a true reflection of the multi-year strategic work Group Health has done to provide quality care at lower costs.”

So we’re ending 2016 in a good place, even better than we expected. Thank you for helping to get us here, and we look forward to continuing our relationship and continuing to serve our mutual customers.

As we launch into 2017, we anticipate another year of excellence. Looking at positive numbers coming in the door for January sales, we’re positioned well for another strong year ahead.