5 questions with…Corey McCarty

This month, we sit down with Corey McCarty, vice president of the consumer segment, to get his thoughts on the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is in full swing now and runs through December 7.

What are BCBSRI’s AEP goals this year?

Our major business priorities are growth (our goal is 2,600 new Medicare Advantage members) and retention of our existing members. Our overall 2017 Medicare enrollment target is 54,500 members. We’re confident we’ll get there with the help of our Medicare broker partners, a key part of our success retaining and growing our membership. We’ve also added many product and benefit enhancements that demonstrate the value of Blue to existing members and prospects.

What are some of BCBSRI’s Medicare product enhancements for 2017?

There are several, but the biggest—and one of the most important for our members—is the return of Living Fit to all of our BlueCHiP for Medicare plans. This discounted gym membership program gives members a full membership to a fitness facility in our large network for as low as $5/month. There are more than 50 facilities to choose from, including several YMCA locations.

Additional enhancements include our new lower premium dental rider, which lets members add affordable dental coverage to their plan and now includes simple extractions as a benefit; our 24-hour nurse line, which members can call anytime, 365 days a year to ask basic health questions; and our new and engaging member wellness portal offered through Virgin Pulse.

From a service perspective, what can members expect as they prepare to enroll or re-enroll with BCBSRI for 2017?

We’ve made it easier for our members or prospects to enroll or stay in their current plan, and to have a great experience with us throughout the year. Whether by phone, online, or in person, we’ve enhanced our customers’ experience to make it as simple as possible.

Our telephone enrollment process has been significantly streamlined, cutting the time it takes to enroll new members. Customers enrolling on bcbsri.com will find enhancements including a “save cart” feature that keeps their progress if they have to leave and come back. And existing members can take advantage of an online plan change process that makes it easier to get the forms they need. We’ve also created a new online plan recommendation tool that guides users through a series of questions—based on their plan usage, health conditions, risk tolerance, and more—to help find the right plan to meet their needs. Our Find a Doctor tool has also been improved to help members find important information faster.

Members visiting our retail stores will also find a number of enhancements to the overall experience, such as new technology for signing-in and displaying wait times, additional staff and greeters, and new store configurations to improve comfort and interaction with our retail teams.

What tools and resources are available to BCBSRI Medicare brokers?

We’ve added a dedicated internal resource for our Medicare broker relationship. Heather Bousquet is now our Medicare broker specialist, and will be working closely with you to ensure that you have all the tools you need to be successful this AEP season. Heather’s extensive Medicare sales and product experience will be a great resource for you.

We’re also assisting brokers to submit prospect meetings to CMS on their behalf, conducted in-person AEP product training at Your Blue Store, and have made sales kits available which include all of the materials needed to make the most of the AEP selling season. Our September 20 broker blast contains all the details and contact information you need. We’ve got lots of resources available, and we’re here to help you be successful!

Why is being local such a key differentiator for BCBSRI?

Being local is a major differentiator in this market. It matters. It’s important to our members (and to us) that they can ask questions in person if they choose at any Your Blue Store location. As our sales partners, we know this is important for our brokers, too. You are also local, and we rely on you to extend that same level of service to our members to ensure a seamless experience.  Medicare can be complicated, and together with you we want to be their trusted advisors and help them select the plan that best meets their unique needs.

Members can also come to one of our many member or “Medicare 101” meetings throughout the state during AEP to learn more about their benefits. It comes down to having the right mix of plan options and backing it up with the best service possible to make sure they stay Blue.