Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Damage 16 Cents Can Do

I recently received this letter from my health insurance provider.  It's stuffy way to remind a me that I forgot to include the 16 cent fee on my last bill.  This extra fee (which will no doubt escalate in the future) is added to insurance premiums as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

Perhaps the craziest part is that my insurer paid more than 16 cents in postage to get that fee back- and destroy some goodwill in the process.

Instead of sending this petty, overly corporate reminder to squeeze 16 cents out of me, what if they sent a letter that basically said, "hey, we see that you missed this 16 cent fee, but we appreciate having you as a customer, so we got it this time."

That seems like a more effective strategy to get customers to remember their PCORI fees and score some loyalty points in an commodity industry that too often is boiled down to the cost of a premium.

Side note:  One suggestion for Medical Mutual of Ohio that may help with the procurement of PCORI fees on the first try is actually including it with the "please pay this amount" total on their invoices. 

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