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This post was originally written by Eric Rubin for Healthcare Business Today, discussing important components for a successful health insurance exchange call center. To view the entire post, click here.

Many Americans experienced challenges during the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but leading into the second open enrollment period some noticeable changes have already been made to ensure a more effective and efficient enrollment process.  As a result of lessons learned, many best practices have been updated and implemented with the health insurance exchanges.

Even with technology improvements, call centers need to be ready

Technology woes were getting a lot of media coverage at this point last year. When Americans had trouble accessing health insurance information on exchange websites, they instinctively turned to the exchange call centers, which were tasked with assisting them in navigating the process of applying, understanding their health plan options and enrolling in health insurance. The exchanges have worked hard to fix previously existing technology issues and further enhance their online capabilities, but however well the technology works, what we learned during the first open enrollment period is that people will still likely seek the help of a human when navigating the health insurance enrollment or renewal process. The exchange call centers must be at the ready to help anyone who needs assistance.

Ensure robust and relevant training

To ensure that consumers have a good call center experience, quality training is of the utmost importance. In the second open enrollment period, we are tasked with servicing two primary populations—those who chose to sit on the sidelines during the first open enrollment period and those that didn’t know about it. These are some of the hardest to reach individuals and therefore require an incredibly helpful and empathetic call center representative.

With enhanced training of staff on the ACA and the enrollment process and an acute awareness of the cultural and linguistic nuances, we ensure our representatives are more aware of the unique needs of these populations, which will in-turn help get them enrolled. We have also tailored several training programs for these populations, and in some cases have added refresher training courses to ensure call center staff are ready to assist any unique needs. By working closely with states to update, adjust and execute on timely and relevant staff trainings, we are equipping those tasked with helping citizens navigate the health care system do so in an informed and efficient manner.

To read the rest of Eric’s article, visit Healthcare Business Today.