Artificial IntelligenceZing Health-Balto Partnership Gets Medicare Questions Answered

Zing Health, a Chicago-based provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, is teaming with St. Louis-based Balto to enhance its customer service and inbound sales using advanced call center technology guided by artificial intelligence (AI).

Medicare coverage can be intimidating for seniors to navigate, whether they have limited experience shopping for health insurance or years of tracking down claims. Balto’s AI tools help Zing Health’s Medicare Advantage sales and customer service representatives meet the needs of all seniors but especially diverse, under-resourced ones.

“Balto shows representatives the best things to say, automatically scores 100 percent of calls, and alerts managers to coaching moments in real time,” said Vince Lanni, Zing Health’s executive vice president, head of growth. “Balto provides customer service representatives with vital information live on the call, so the customer service reps can analyze problems and quickly fix them.”

As a member or potential member speaks a key word or phrase, Balto’s AI will prompt the sales or customer service reps with a correct, helpful response. This call center technology results in improved sales conversion rates, higher customer satisfaction, and a shorter onramp for new associates.

“For the longest time, contact centers had all the insights about what was going wrong on their calls, but no way to act on these insights at scale. With Balto’s Real-Time Guidance, organizations can now scale their best practices to every representative at the push of a button,” said Marc Bernstein, founder and CEO of Balto. “We’re shifting contact centers from conversation intelligence to conversation excellence.”

Call Center Gears Up for Medicare Enrollment Period

Zing Health is launching the AI-enabled call center Oct. 1 in advance of the Medicare Annual Enrollment period held Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Its goal is to provide all senior populations with Medicare Advantage coverage that meets their individual special needs.

“We’re setting up three separate playbooks with Balto: one for new sales, one for member retention and benefit navigation, and the third piece for customer service,” Lanni said.

All sales scripts are approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

“As agents hit items on the checklist, it automatically checks them off in green and then scores the agent at the end,” Lanni said. “This is really a training tool and an accountability tool to make sure that the agents and the customer service reps are sharing pertinent information with the member in a regulatory compliant fashion.”

While most call centers are set up to serve many people quickly, Zing Health’s consumer-first model allows as much time as necessary to ensure there’s no confusion, all questions are answered, and a member ends the call satisfied with the service they received.

“Balto is a game-changer for Zing Health,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Zing Health’s founder and CEO. “We entered this partnership to provide advanced call center technology for our Medicare Advantage health plans and make it easier for members to find the best plan that fits their healthcare needs.”

AI Technology Extends Customer Service Commitment  

With 75 million analyzed calls, Balto brings post-call practices into the future. Its Real-Time Guidance offers scalable, in-the-moment coaching for representatives and a holistic view that helps managers understand which tactics work and which do not.

“Technology helps Zing Health coordinate clinical care to help members live healthier lives,” Dr. Whitaker said. “Balto’s technology now positions our licensed agents and customer service department to offer first-class service. Balto trains our employees better and holds them accountable to members for the best-in-class service they deserve.”

A successful contact center launch will help spread the advanced call center technology throughout the Zing Health organization. In addition to the sales, retention, and customer service initial phase rollout, Zing Health intends to use Balto for other departments like claims, appeals, grievances, and others to increase the efficiency of each unit.

“I’ve been building call centers and distribution channels for 20 years and until now have never seen a more useful tool for telesales reps,” Lanni said. “Growth is about more than new sales; it’s about retention and a great member experience. Balto will increase both for Zing Health.”


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