Think Regulated Documents Can’t Drive Engagement? Think Again!

In the realm of healthcare, extensive quantities of regulated and mandatory communications are regularly dispatched to members by healthcare payers. These communications include the distribution of Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) documents and 1095-B forms on a yearly basis, along with Explanation of Benefits (EOBs), invoices, letters, and provider directories, which are sent throughout the year. The cost incurred by healthcare payers in delivering these communications amounts to billions of dollars.

Traditionally, the focus has been on ensuring these complex documents meet compliance standards and are delivered on time. However, such documents have been perceived as rigid and unchangeable, leading members to accept them as generic, often confusing, and of limited value. Consequently, many recipients swiftly dispose of these communications without much consideration.

In a recent webinar, Drew Corbett, Clarity’s Vice President of Product Innovation, challenged these preconceptions surrounding regulatory healthcare documents and proposed ways in which payers can harness these communication touchpoints to foster greater member engagement and retention throughout the year.


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Proposal One: Every piece of correspondence can drive value for your plan and members.

Over the past decade, engagement has become a critical metric for improving healthcare outcomes and cost efficiency. In an interview, Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, highlighted the importance of engaging individuals who are now using technology in various ways. “You can’t improve health if you don’t have that engagement,” Lynch said. Every piece of correspondence sent to members represents an opportunity for deeper engagement, which offers mission-critical benefits for payers:

  • Retaining your members is important. Engaging your members in your offerings helps build loyalty, making it less likely for that member to leave.
  • Driving your members to high-value, high-impact activities helps save you money and returns on your investments.
  • Every instance of engagement reduces a member’s overall cost. Engaged members use care when necessary but also self-administer healthy activities throughout the year, reducing their own cost. On the other hand, members who wait to access care until they are very ill end up costing the insurance company much more by seeking higher-cost care.

Plans are already sending and paying for member correspondence, so why not maximize its impact? Clarity sends over 72 million ID card packages a year, equating to more than 72 million touchpoints just through this one type of print communication. Clearly, the scope of potential impact on member engagement is enormous.

Consider this: Your health plan is looking to increase registrations for the member portal. A direct mail marketing campaign to promote portal registration to a subset of 200,000 members could cost over $220,000.

OR you could include that same portal registration messaging on your existing member correspondence, which would allow you to advance the same strategic goal without any additional cost. Transforming traditional and transactional correspondence into engagement assets can drive member behavior and provide actionable data for your health plan.

Proposal Two: Regulated mailings can be customized and personalized while maintaining compliance.

You may be wondering how much latitude you have to customize regulatory correspondence, like 1095 and 1099 tax forms, ANOCs, invoices, gap notices, and SBCs? Plenty.

It’s true that most regulated forms themselves cannot be altered or have any additional text added. However, these correspondence pieces you are likely already sending in high volume throughout the year can still be carriers for engagement when you let the address sheet (or cover sheet) do the talking.

More often than not, these sheets are included in your mailings, which means you’re already printing and paying for these pages. Rather than leave 50 percent of each address page blank, payers can:

  • Demonstrate value and reemphasize plan benefits so members understand offerings
  • Remind members of the good coverage and good partnership they have with their plan
  • Target messaging for renewing members to boost retention, such as thanking them for renewing or providing information for managing a chronic condition
  • Develop brand recognition, promote products and services, and convey a commitment to member service

Accelerating member engagement isn’t just about capitalizing on unused space or employing graphic design though. In addition to printing and fulfillment of member correspondence, Clarity deploys rapid A/B tests to inform health plan leaders how best to communicate with their members to drive engagement and behavior change. An Insights Dashboard provides a visual feedback loop, with real-time analytics on what communications drive the most action for every individual in every cohort.


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Employing Behavioral Economics

Clarity understands the importance of leveraging behavioral economics to maximize engagement. By employing different behavioral methodologies and testing various messaging approaches, health plans can gain valuable insight into what resonates with their members and then iterate accordingly. Clarity has conducted experiments to compare the effectiveness of different messaging techniques:

member engagement tactics

Every lesson learned from these AME experiments informs future engagement efforts. These insights enable health plans to optimize strategies and improve long-term member satisfaction.


Proposal Three: Create targeted messaging to drive the next best action for renewing members.

The expanded engagement opportunities and the behavioral learnings that plans gain by using regulatory correspondence throughout the year can be a powerful asset during the run-up to open enrollment.

Plans learn which messages and behavioral techniques resonate with different demographic audiences, life stages, plan members, health profiles, and other populations. This method uses data and analytics to identify how to reach the right members, with the right message, at the right time to guide them toward their next best action.

For example, do QR codes work for pre-Medicare populations? Are text messages the best way to engage millennials? How do subscriber-only memberships engage differently than subscribers with multiple dependents?

These answers, paired with messaging that emphasizes the value of plan benefits and demonstrates the level of plan care, can guide a member along the journey to renewal.


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Proposal Four: Turn regulatory correspondence into engagement opportunities without the hassle of redesigning.


EOBs are your secret weapon in the world of correspondence-driven member engagement. They are the highest volume correspondence – 4-6x the number of ID cards sent out by most Commercial and Medicare plans.

EOBs also have the potential to be your highest value correspondence because financial information garners added attention. estimates that transactional communications are viewed by 97% of your existing customers for an average of 2-5 minutes at a time. The timing of EOB delivery to a recent health event further heightens a member’s willingness to engage.

If redesigning multiple pages of an EOB seems daunting, the EOB address sheet is a great place to start and offers an often underutilized opportunity for driving engagement. That cover page is prime real estate for personalized benefit information, a specific call to action, and a QR code to make taking action easy and direct.

For Clarity clients, other regulatory documents can include regulatory-approved AME messaging based on the client’s current package. This applies to 1095s, 1099s, ANOCs, letters and notices, invoices, and SBCs. The only restriction is that we cannot print on the regulatory content or forms themselves. Here are some examples.

Form 1095-B

If you are using a tax company to send out your 1095s, you are missing a big engagement opportunity. Rather than seeing these as simply tax forms, you can use them as another member touchpoint. Clarity AME can take over federal filing and state filing for those that require it. We maintain compliant composition and distribution to meet IRS deadlines.


These lengthy documents explain all changes to a Medicare plan and are sent out annually. While no printing on CMS/IRS regulatory content or forms is allowed, Clarity AME allows for customizations via the address/cover sheet.

Letters and Notices

Medicare has over 300 standardized letters and notices that they send to members and providers, including quality management letters (e.g., screenings, diabetes programs), appeals and grievance letters, and low-income subsidy letters. Although these communications are highly regulated, with Clarity AME, you can include a cover sheet with full-color capability to personalize the correspondence and point out pertinent information to members.


No one likes getting bills in the mail, but few ignore them. Like EOBs, invoices can be a high-volume engagement vehicle, potentially going out to members every month. As such, they can help develop brand recognition, promote products and services, and convey a commitment to member service.

The frequency of these mailings makes them well suited for incorporating transactional data and marketing information on the fly, creating more up-sell and cross-sell opportunities by providing customized messaging that demonstrates the value of the relationship with your customer.

From the plan’s point of view, simple changes to the invoice can improve efficiency. When invoices are more legible, it improves customer satisfaction and reduces call center traffic. Inserting a QR code that links directly to a digital payment site helps the payer get paid faster and saves money on customer service.

Every Correspondence Can Boost Engagement

While some think of Clarity as a traditional print vendor – and that is indeed correct – we believe in expanding the value of everything that is printed on your behalf.

So why us? As partners to your success, we are making investments to provide you with more expertise. Through Clarity Accelerate Member Engagement, we have the mechanisms in place to optimize your communications. With the Clarity platform, you can update your materials throughout the year, and through our Accelerate Member Engagement dashboard, measure the effectiveness of those communications. Clarity AME ensures that every penny in communication spend is optimized to drive strategic engagement metrics. Contact Clarity to learn more.