Over the last 12 years, Nokia has partnered with UnitedHealthcare® Retiree Solutions to build and maintain a retirement benefits program designed for longevity and member satisfaction.
The UnitedHealthcare® Group Medicare Advantage (PPO) plan, sponsored by Nokia of America Corporation, supports 69,000 past and present retirees and their families, with about 60% of that population within the Formerly Represented Retiree group. That group includes past employees from AT&T, Lucent and Alcatel following spin-offs and mergers and acquisitions. The remaining 40% are Management Retirees from those same companies, as well as Nokia.
Ingrid Orav, Director of Health Plans at Nokia, worked with her team to shape the popular retiree benefits program, while cutting costs at the same time — an ideal outcome for benefits planners today. “Our challenge going into this was that we needed to decrease our spend, but it was imperative that we continue to offer quality, affordable coverage to our retirees,” Orav said.
The Group Medicare Advantage (PPO) plan replaced the Secure Horizons product for Management Retirees in 2009. That switch led to such a warm member reception and significant cost savings that the Formerly Represented Retirees were transitioned to the same plan in 2012. Orav shared 4 factors that drove Nokia’s success:
Educate to build confidence
Multi-channel communications effectively educated both retirees and providers. In-person seminars, webinars, a dedicated call center and direct mail campaigns targeted members, their families and their caregivers. The surround-sound approach coupled with proactive outreach to providers detailing reimbursement methods, instilled trust and closed the knowledge gap during the transition, continuing to positively impact the program today. “The initial, comprehensive education campaign laid the foundation for ongoing program communications,” Orav said, “we turn efforts up or down depending on employee feedback.”
Make the best choice the easiest choice
Ensuring the default plan option offers optimal benefits at a low cost minimizes guesswork for members and accounts for the general population’s lack of insurance plan literacy. Additionally, as long as the provider accepts Medicare, members can access care within the extensive UnitedHealthcare network of providers or seek care from non-contracted Medicare providers for the same cost share.
Drive satisfaction with consistency
The creation of a solid plan has resulted in minimal changes to the level of benefits and costs year-over-year. Members value plan consistency, which contributes to overall satisfaction and enables retirees to avoid the significant cost and benefit fluctuations associated with individual Medicare Advantage plans.
Meet members wherever they are
Nokia is a national company with current and past employees residing throughout the U.S., requiring a plan void of geographic restrictions. Coverage is accessible nationwide and is bolstered by a 24/7 NurseLine and Virtual Visits, where members can connect with a doctor via their mobile device or computer. Furthering access to care is the UnitedHealthcare® HouseCalls program, which provides in-home preventive care visits. HouseCalls gains much of its adoption at Nokia through positive word of mouth. “Once members use the HouseCalls program, they recommend it to their friends and family. That personal recommendation is the biggest driver of awareness, demonstrating the positive nature of that experience,” Orav said.
The UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage (PPO) plan has earned praise from Orav and her retiree population: “The plan’s high level of benefits, cost-effectiveness, minimal annual plan changes and attentive administration are key drivers of member satisfaction,” she said. “The low occurrence of complaints in a space with an otherwise very vocal group, especially related to any negative experiences, is another strong indicator that our plan is effectively meeting retiree needs.”
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