MedSave.com Enrollments Hit Highest Level
MedSave.com recorded a record number of individuals enrolling in health insurance and related benefit plans during the month of March 2006. This small business was founded in 1998 by personal finance writer Health Insurance to help his clients find trustworthy low cost health insurance online. Since then, the business has grown to be one of the nation's largest enrollers of individual health insurance. MedSave.com operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Morris suspects that there are several reasons contributing to the increase in business. First, the increase in consumer-driven health plans makes more consumers more aware of their options. Employees changing jobs, for example, are far more likely to choose a commercial short term medical insurance now rather than COBRA coverage. In the past, they may not have been aware of these options that generally offer better coverage at a lower price. Employees are also more likely to also replace employer-provided life insurance with an individual policy than they were in the past because of the proliferation of low cost, easy-online-enrollment products.
Second reason is the increasing trend toward child-only health insurance. Parents are increasingly enrolling their children in a separate health insurance than the adults. For example, a parent may find it more attractive to cover children under a Health Savings Account plan rather than an employer-provided HMO. This does not mean that more insurance is being provided or that more people are being insured, but rather that the number of policies issued is higher. A new article titled "Trends in Children's Health Insurance" discusses the specific issues and the insurance companies targeting this market.
Finally, Morris notes that MedSave.com is a referral-only business. MedSave.com does not advertise or purchase Web traffic or clicks like most other online businesses. It takes awhile to establish a reputation and build a critical mass of customers willing to mention your service to their family and friends". Morris believes that MedSave's success is based on the unique feature of direct-dial access to well-qualified adviser support. During peak enrollment periods she handles up to 50 calls and e-mail questions each day and has logged more than 50,000 consumer finance questions over its entire operation. "People like to have their questions answered right away, in language that they understand. I personally answer most calls within the first few rings and can respond to just about any question - even if it is not the answer they want to hear". On the customer service issues, she says "Compare us most health insurance companies that place you into an automated phone service, then on hold, then probably into voicemail. When you finally speak with a customer service representative, they often not have the training or experience to provide the best advice". She wonders if increased growth will eventually force MedSave.com in the same direction, but for now she takes pride in offering a better alternative.