After overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19, you’re in a great position to determine which strategies will help you streamline next year’s AEP season. As the impact of the pandemic continues into 2021, broker meetings and seminars will go virtual once again. That means you’ll need to determine how to digitally connect with all beneficiaries—including those with limited English proficiency (LEP).
The Importance of Multilingual Outreach
According to AARP, about 5 million older Americans have limited English proficiency (LEP), making them a key demographic for the Medicare market. However, language barriers add an additional layer of complexity to your outreach strategy.
You already know you need to submit multilingual plan documentation to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) for approval. That means translating the Summary of Benefits, Annual Notices of Change, and other plan information. But have you considered how much you’ll need to invest in digital outreach to attract LEP beneficiaries?
With limited opportunities for in-person meetings, you’ll need to rely more on online marketing, TV ads, and virtual events. That may mean budgeting more for translation, voiceover and subtitling, and remote interpreting services next year.
Researching the Market
If you want to get the most out of your multilingual Medicare campaigns it’s important to invest in research and lay out the groundwork for a successful campaign. LEP beneficiaries aren’t monolithic, so it’s beneficial to explore omnichannel messaging options which will resonate with different groups.
Language preferences, location, age, and income are just a few factors you should consider. Using a combination of internal and third-party data, you can boost enrollment by:
- Determining which languages have the highest demand based on region.
- Building marketing campaigns around previous enrollment patterns.
- Developing messages that highlight the benefits beneficiaries care about most.
You also need to look at how COVID-19 has reshaped the way people shop for a Medicare plan. According to a 2020 Medicare Advantage (MA) report:
- 9% of beneficiaries chose an MA plan for supplemental benefits.
- 35% who chose an MA plan for supplemental benefits cited COVID-19 benefits specifically, while 27% cited telehealth benefits.
- 35% chose an MA plan because they had it before.
- 29% chose an MA plan for prescription drug coverage.
- 16% chose an MA plan due to affordability.
Understanding how the pandemic has affected different groups will be key in your outreach. Foreign-born Hispanic Seniors, for example, are not only more likely to die from COVID-19, but are less likely to have health insurance. They’re also more likely to face financial instability. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be better able to develop a messaging strategy that resonates with them.
Market research can also help you discover which messaging platforms different demographics prefer and how they’d rather enroll in a plan. For example, many Chinese Americans rely on WeChat, a messaging, social media, and mobile payment app, to connect with friends and family. In mainland China, roughly 63 million people aged 55 and older reported using the Chinese-based app in 2020.
As the rise of WeChat shows, technology has become an increasingly important outreach tool. Approximately 70% of prospective Medicare members reported using technology to perform at least one health activity in 2017. Yet some seniors may still prefer to receive mailers or other print marketing materials. Print media is also still a preferable choice to many, with some seniors preferring to receive their information through mailers and print marketing materials. Capturing your prospective members’ journey to enrollment is key, and it is important to strike a balance in identifying which campaign method will generate the most engagement.
Creating a Plan for AEP 2022
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to start planning. Let’s say you want to launch three foreign language campaigns: one in Spanish, one in Chinese, and one in Korean. You likely have a rough idea of which regional markets you want to run campaigns in and the types of language support you’ll outsource. As you create your campaign, consider that you may need:
- Medicare plans and other documentation such as Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), Evidence of Coverage (EOC), Summary of Benefits, and Formularies
- Direct mail, brochures, and other print materials
- Multilingual websites
Voiceover and/or Subtitles for:
- TV ads
- Video ads
Remote Interpreting for:
A language services company can help you with additional research and adapt your marketing materials to ensure they’re culturally relevant for the demographics with which you’re trying to connect. By getting a head start on your multilingual campaigns, you won’t need to scramble to meet tight deadlines or risk delaying a launch.
Choosing a Language Services Company
Given the complex nature of Medicare plans, your language services company should have a deep understanding of the regulations, submission process, and the LEP market.
At CQ fluency, we offer all of the above and more. We are committed to improving lives by connecting you with LEP audiences to find a plan that best suits their health needs. We have the robust technological processes to assess your situation, identify pain points, and recommend tailored solutions that meet your needs. No matter your company’s scope, we understand your frustrations and work with you to reduce redundancy, help you plan, and execute your strategy.
As your trusted language services provider, we’ll ensure you have full visibility as we:
- Evaluate your plan and implement process improvement early on. As project management gets more complex, starting early means we can better evaluate, plan and implement those processes and tech improvements.
- Determine how to best simplify processes while maintaining quality and remaining in compliance. It’s vital that we start thinking about accurately describing benefits as early on as possible.
- Provide alternative formats and accessibility services. We incorporate preparation for these instances on top of translation and cultural work.
- Recommend processes to ensure documents are finalized to start the translation process as soon as possible—even before finalization.
Want to learn more about how CQ fluency can make next year’s AEP a success? Contact us today!