Minnesota Seniors: Medicare Priorities Include Helpful Customer Service, Delivered Locally

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BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD MN

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Jan 06, 2024

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Minnesota - Twin Cities Metro Area

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Every year, Blue Cross talks to seniors across the state to learn more about their thoughts and feelings about health-related topics. For 2023, our survey found that 71% of Minnesota seniors are prioritizing their health, which is an increase of 4% over last year.

Having more seniors feel in control of their overall health is a trend worth celebrating.

However, our survey also revealed how the process of enrolling in Medicare can be daunting, with a lot of information to process and options to assess. More than half of Minnesota seniors expressed some level of anxiety when first learning about their Medicare plan options. Words like “perplexed” and “overwhelmed” were often used to describe their apprehension.

Customer service is key to understanding

The good news is those feelings of uncertainty largely disappear once seniors are enrolled in their Medicare plan and begin to use their coverage in ways that best address their personal health needs. It also makes sense why the importance of strong customer service among Medicare enrollees in Minnesota is nearly universal (98%).

Here are a few more stats that show how seniors statewide approach Medicare-specific customer service:

·        More than half (55%) of Minnesota seniors agree that having a local health insurance plan staffed by fellow Minnesotans can increase confidence.

·        71% of seniors call their Medicare plan’s customer service line at least once a year. Primary reasons for calling are to ask general questions about plan benefits, coverage and network.

·        Driving factors that make a customer service experience positive include having a positive/respectful interaction with the representative (58%) and receiving clear/helpful explanations from the representative (55%).

The value of local support

We love all things Minnesota, and so do many seniors – more than half agree that having a local health insurance plan staffed by fellow Minnesotans gives them more confidence.

Backed by a service team of nearly 500 Minnesota-based Member Experience Advocates, Blue Cross retains 95% of its Medicare enrollees from one plan year to the next. The importance of local service is also reflected in the high rate (85%) of Blue Cross Medicare enrollees who use the services of a Minnesota insurance agent or broker.

Additionally, Blue Cross Medicare plans are top-rated by its members for customer service, based on 2022 survey results from CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), a nationally recognized indicator of member and patient satisfaction. According to Blue Cross data, more than two-thirds (78%) of Medicare member calls are successfully resolved in a single phone call.

Blue Cross member John Hines, the long-time Twin Cities radio personality, just “aged into” Medicare last year. He relates to the complex feelings that come with enrolling in a plan – not to mention the value of effective, local customer service.

“It took a minute, but I’ve adjusted to thinking of myself as a ‘senior’ – and I’m proud of how I’ve kept my health top of mind in my first years of Medicare,” said Hines. “Like so many of my friends and family over 65, I appreciate having a friendly, knowledgeable voice on the other end of the line when I call Blue Cross with questions about my plan. There’s nothing better than knowing that I’m going to get answers from someone who also calls Minnesota 'home'.”

Taking full advantage of your Medicare plan and resources is an important part of maintaining your overall well-being – along with other core activities such as staying active, eating healthy and spending time with loved ones. For more health information and tips tailored to your needs, check out the latest issue of thrive. magazine and visit this blog often.

Radio personality and Blue Cross member John Hines is a paid promotional spokesperson for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

 

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