Medicare Marketing and the Modern Consumer

GUESTS: Christina Lively and Angie Wooderson

HOST: Sam Meers

In the US, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. Health insurance companies, in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Management, provide Medicare Advantage plans for seniors. With over 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, the market is highly competitive, increasingly regulated and is limited by an annual enrollment period and life-event marketing windows forcing those promoting Medicare advantage to get creative.

Christina Lively, Vice President, Marketing Communications, and Angie Wooderson, Marketing Manager, Medicare Segments, from Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kansas City (Blue KC), join us to discuss:

  • The major driver that caused Blue KC to get back into the MA space
  • The challenges faced as they prepared to offer MA to the KC market?
  • The factors of pricing a MA plan, the distribution network and broker training
  • The key determinants expected from a data partner on the backend of MA plans
  • Where they have witnessed the greatest success in terms of marketing efforts

Evolving the Healthcare Customer Experience

GUESTS: Faith Adams, Forrester
HOST: Sam Meers

Customer experience is a significant determinant of a health insurer’s success. In an age when consumer expectations are high, the delivery of care and the process for paying for it has never been more important.

Faith Adams, Customer Experience Analyst at Forrester, joins us to discuss:

  • The work Faith leads at Forrester around customer experience (CX) research and analysis
  • Brands and teams leading the way in CX, and who should lead CX innovation within an organization
  • The evolving role of CX in the healthcare ecosystem among providers and payers
  • Key obstacles for CX thinking in modern healthcare/insurance organizations
  • The future of CX and healthcare, and Faith’s advice for payers to begin thinking about CX innovation


Leading the Modern Health Insurance Company

GUESTS: Matt All, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
HOST: Sam Meers

Leading a health insurance company is not for the faint of heart. Health insurance is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting and challenging business categories today. It impacts every aspect of our society. In fact, healthcare itself makes up 25% of our GDP as a nation. Matt All, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, joins the podcast and discusses the vision he has for the company and the healthcare landscape.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The opportunities and challenges of leading a health insurance company
  • How to grow and change perceptions of both employees and members in the future
  • Opportunities for innovation for health insurance brands
  • Where health insurance industry leaders go to gain leadership insight
  • The challenges facing both payers and providers, especially in more rural areas
  • The day-to-day and long-term challenges faced by the employees of the organization and the members they serve
  • How the category may evolve based on potential mergers, acquisitions and new entries into the market like Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JP Morgan

The Importance of Story: Children’s Mercy

GUESTS: Tom McCormally, Children’s Mercy
HOST: Sam Meers

Many organizations have come to understand the importance of telling an engaging story. The history of an organization helps establish its values and sets the stage for innovation and growth. With us for this episode is Tom McCormally, Director of Archives at Children’s Mercy Health and Clinics. Tom has been working for the past several years to bring the history of Children’s Mercy to life. Children’s Mercy recently published “For All Children Everywhere,” that examines what has made the hospital into what it is today.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What led to the creation of “For All Creation Everywhere,” and a brief overview of the evolution of Children’s Mercy
  • How culture comes to life at Children’s Mercy
  • What’s next, now that Children’s Mercy’s story has been collected and memorialized
  • How the story of an organization can be illustrated in a podcast
  • How podcasts integrate into a larger marketing strategy for storytelling

Health Care Innovation: Spira Care and Blue KC

GUESTS: Jason Spacek, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
HOST: Sam Meers

With rising health care costs, consumer confusion surrounding health care coverage and expanding care options through alternative and digital channels, health care brands must innovate to stay competitive. Often, innovation can lead to even more complexity and confusion for the consumer. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s answer to these challenges is Spira Care, a holistic health care model designed with the end user in mind. In the studio with us to discuss Spira Care is Jason Spacek, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The industry forces that drive innovation for health insurance carriers
  • How Spira Care began as an idea through the Blue Innovation Group
  • How Spira Care works to simplify the health care experience for the customer, and what makes it different than traditional health care centers
  • Learnings from taking an innovation initiative from research, through development and finally, to market
  • Opportunities that Spira Care will bring to Blue KC, and what’s next in terms of innovation for the carrier

Patients V. Members: Exploring Consumer Mindsets in Health Care

GUESTS: Anna Essmann and Jimmy Keown, Barkley
HOST: Sam Meers

This episode, featuring Anna Essmann and Jimmy Keown from Barkley’s strategy team, reveals insights from a significant research study recently completed by Barkley Health & Finance. Our work in the health insurance category over the years, and especially since the advent of the ACA, has piqued our interest in the potential mindset differences between a health insurance member and a medical patient. We uncovered several mindsets existing just in the health insurance space, with unique perspectives on how they interact with – and what they expect from – their health insurance carrier.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Key findings from our research study, including the difference between the member and customer mindsets for health insurance enrollees
  • How relationships with health care providers differ from health insurance carriers
  • Challenges carriers face in the area of customer experience
    How this research study can inform potential customer experience, pricing and distribution strategies
  • What carriers should start doing vs. stop doing to create stronger member/customer relationships
  • Opportunities for carriers and physicians to work together to improve the member experience