Press Release

Agents: The Key to Health Plan Member Retention?
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Minneapolis, MN: June 06, 2016—Consumers who received enrollment assistance from an agent during the 2015/2016 Open Enrollment Period are expected to be the most loyal to their health insurer in 2017 according to Deft Research's 2016 Individual Market Member Experience Study, released this week.

The study also found that consumers switched carriers at a higher rate in 2016 if they had received help from an agent. These findings tell us that there is comfort in knowing a professional helped guide a decision that is extremely daunting for many consumers.

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“One potential unintended consequence of reduced broker commissions could be higher switch rates, as more consumers would “go it alone” and potentially make network and coverage mistakes that could only be remedied by switching the following year,” said George Dippel, Sr. Vice President of Client Services at Deft Research. “Consumers need help in understanding their coverage—if not by agents, then it must come from the carrier.”


This 120-page report explores key factors influencing member satisfaction in the Individual health insurance market. The survey included core QHP Enrollee Survey questions as well as supplemental drill-down questions designed to provide health plans with a deeper assessment of the member experience as it relates to quality standards set forth by the Affordable Care Act. Since KPI data will be used for reimbursement and ratings purposes, we believe it is crucial for plans to understand early on how they must re-engineer elements of the member experience to improve satisfaction, experience of care, and ultimately, financial performance.

The 2016 Individual Market Member Experience Study is the second study in Deft Research's annual Commercial Market Intelligence Service. The report is based on the responses on 5,240 commercial health insurance members. The survey was fielded in April and May of 2016. This year’s study also includes member experience scorecards for over 30 health insurance carriers.


For more information on obtaining a copy of the report or fielding the drill-down survey with your own members, please contact George Dippel at 612-436-8321 or

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