In mid-August, the U.S. Census Bureau released additional results from the 2020 Census that underscored just how diverse the country has become. While people identifying as white remained the largest ethnic group in the U.S., that population has decreased by 8.6% since 2010. Meanwhile, the Hispanic or Latino population grew 23% over the last decade and the multiracial population ballooned from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020.

With all that demographic change, industry observers say it’s more crucial than ever for health care organizations — especially health plans — to tailor their member engagement strategies to connect with enrollees from a wide variety of backgrounds. But they caution that doing so requires more than just lip service and cursory efforts.

“The plans that are doing the right thing are the plans that are moving away from their old approach to how they engage with their members and build a relationship with their members. That old approach, I would describe it as the ‘one size fits all’ approach,” says Abner Mason, the CEO of ConsejoSano, a health equity-focused engagement company that personalizes health plan member experiences through culturally and linguistically aligned preferences.

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