by Alicia Caramenico
June 14, 2017
At UCare in Minnesota, “Health care that starts with you” is more than just a marketing tagline.
“It really has meaning for the organization” Ghita Worcester, UCare Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Public Affairs, tells AHIP. The health plan’s commitment to making the health care system personal runs deep, and the Get Engaged! program is a tangible sign of how the organization is forming meaningful relationships with its members.
GetEngaged! offers several programs where members can share their UCare experiences and ideas with others. Since UCare has grown to provide a range of benefits for people of all ages, the plan wanted to give members a way to provide feedback about their benefits, what the company does well, or what it can do differently to improve.
“People like to feel part of a system of care and that you’re really listening to them,” Worcester says. Get Engaged! offers a platform for UCare to better understand and hear directly from its members.
The engagement program has three main functions, explains Worcester. One, it fosters champions who tell UCare’s story to members of Congress and state legislators. “The [champions] are very engaged and open to speak up about the value of Medicare Advantage plans,” she notes.
It also provides feedback models to help the organization deliver a great member experience and improve written materials and benefits explanations. “As we think about redoing a brochure to make it easier to read,” Worcester says, “we have this host of individuals to provide feedback that helps us do it the right way the first time.”
Third, it provides an important outlet for individuals who are passionate about UCare’s community involvement and want to do their part to help. These members are looking for opportunities to contribute to the community and volunteer their time at local events as an extra set of hands and an extra voice. “The ambassadors program is growing beyond anything I could have imagined in number of individuals who want to find a way to contribute,” she explains.
What makes programs like Get Engaged! so powerful is active member engagement – and the value of their participation is twofold. UCare benefits from members’ support and feedback and members are rewarded through their involvement as a meaningful, supportive community of ambassadors.
“We’re trying to create a holistic approach that empowers people to take better care of themselves and to learn from others who are doing that.”