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While consolidating multiple elements (e.g., welcome letter, ID card, plan booklet, postcard, privacy letter, PCP enrollment form, marketing materials, etc.) into a single Welcome Kit mailing can be efficient, it also may require the package to use a higher postal class (First Class versus Standard or Marketing Class). For kits that can exceed weight requirements for some postage classes, this can result in significant additional postal costs for the Health Plan, without significant advantage to the member.
Operational leaders at Health Plans are under constant pressure to reduce operating expenses, while simultaneously ensuring a seamless and positive experience for the members. By making thoughtful design changes to member mailings, leaders can potentially realize materials cost reductions with little to no labor costs.
“By splitting the kit into multiple mailings and using Standard Class for the plan booklet, MPX reduced postage costs by nearly 60%.”
Splitting member communications, especially large mailings like Welcome Kits, into multiple mailings may result in materially lower postal costs especially if the split packages can be sent using lower cost postal classes. First Class, which is what must be used for materials like ID cards, is delivered more quickly, but also at a higher rate. Standard mail, designed for mass communication and without personal information, delivers several days slower, but is also much less expensive. Weight can also factor into larger kitting projects, making evaluation of the entire process, from top to bottom, an important part of determining the best solution.
Working with HealthLinq™ by MPX, a nonprofit, Medicaid managed-care health plan who provides members with access to thousands of doctors and specialists, pharmacy services and prescriptions, dental and vision care as well as transportation to medical appointments, was able to see considerable cost savings by deconstructing their member kit.
During open enrollment, our client was printing and mailing welcome kits that included:
- Welcome letter and integrated print-on-demand identification card
- Plan booklet
- Privacy letter
- Primary care physician enrollment form
- 3 other pages of marketing materials
Their welcome kit was quite large. It contained the plan booklet and had to be mailed as a flat envelope, and because it also contained member ID cards with personal information, the entire package had to be mailed with first class postage. With 425,000 welcome kit packages scheduled for distribution, the health plan was looking at a first-class postage bill of approximately $950,000.
At the outset of every project and regularly throughout, we carefully consider opportunities to enhance member experience, reduce operational strain and cut costs. Consolidating mailings will often accomplish all three of these objectives. However, in this case, we advised our client to consider an augmented strategy to realize significant savings while still ensuring a cohesive member experience and minimizing any significant increase in effort.
A critical part of the HealthLinq™ offering includes customer design and integration services that include a consultative process to examine situations such as these. Through a detailed assessment and design consultation our team quickly realized that deconstructing the package into two mail pieces would deliver significant savings without compromising the member experience.
Here's how we did it:
The first package included everything except the benefits plan booklet. These items were printed on 8.5” x 11” stock, bi-folded and machine inserted into a 6 x 9 envelope. Thanks to the reduced size and weight, these items were mailed with First Class postage at a discounted rate of $0.42 each.
For the second package, the 8.5"x 11" benefits plan booklet was given a cover letter before being machine inserted into a 9” x 12” envelope. This envelope was then mailed Standard Class at a discounted rate of $0.65 each.
By splitting the mailing and using Standard (Marketing) Class for the plan booklet, HealthLinq™ by MPX reduced postage costs by nearly 60% of the original cost estimate. Ninety percent of these savings were passed on to the client, while the remaining 10% was used to pay for the additional mailing.
All in all, welcome kits are complex mailing projects and what works best for one company or even one year, may not work well the next. A case-by-case evaluation is best for determining the most cost effective and efficient solution for each mailing.
Contact us today to learn how HealthLinq™ by MPX can help you maximize your member communications while streamlining your internal operations.