Kaiser Permanente, Molina Healthcare, Humana take top spots for digital experience

digital health
About half (53%) of consumers said they would be more likely to use a health or wellness app if it resulted in insurance premium discounts or cash incentives. (Ridofranz/Getty Images)

Kaiser Permanente, Molina Healthcare, and Humana offer the best digital experience based on customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores, according to a survey of 11,500 consumers conducted by Verint Systems Inc. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan took the fourth top spot in digital, followed by Horizon, WellCare Health Plans, Cigna, Anthem, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare.

Verint's industry benchmarking study evaluated the online health insurance experience based on four factors: navigation, look and feel, site information, and site performance. Consumers ranked navigation as a top priority for health insurance websites and digital tools. Site information and site performance ranked second, according to the study.

The aggregate customer satisfaction score for health insurance companies is 75.2 and the aggregate Net Promoter Score is 19.4, the study said. Kaiser Permanente had a customer satisfaction ranking of 77 and a Net Promoter Score of 26.3. The 10th-ranked insurer, UnitedHealthcare, had a customer satisfaction ranking of 72.8 and a Net Promoter Score of 8.8.

To provide a benchmark for all digital experiences, the survey also ranks the 25 most popular websites, Google, the top-ranked website, scored 86.1 on customer satisfaction and a Net Promoter Score of 60.7.

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Consumers' primary reasons for visiting insurer sites include obtaining formation about plans or coverage (20%), finding health and wellness information (18%), finding a doctor, hospital or health professional (17%) and shopping for a health plan (11%).

Most consumers (90%) accomplish their primary tasks when visiting health insurance sites. But human interaction still goes hand-in-hand with the digital experience as more than one-quarter of all customers contacted customer service after their site visit, even if they accomplished their task digitally, according to the survey.

Over half of respondents (54%) said they used the plan comparison tool on health insurance sites and rate its importance a 3.9 out of 5.

According to consumers, there are a few key factors that add up to a good digital insurance customer experience—thorough site content and helpful tools, monitoring apps with clear customer benefits, virtual healthcare that includes personalization and security and a digital claims experience that supports their needs.

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The research on digital experience underscores that consumers expect and demand a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints and that digital has an impact on every channel,” Shannon Latta, vice president at Verint ForeSee, said, noting that an increase of one point in customer satisfaction can drive a significant increase in revenue.

The report also sheds light on what consumers say they want in their online interactions with insurance providers. This is a growing opportunity for health insurers to offer personalized experiences, mobile app convenience and comparison tools, according to the survey.

Health insurers are increasingly focused on tracking and collecting healthcare data via apps on patients’ smartphones as a way to increase engagement, improve how conditions are managed and reduce clinic and hospital visits.

About half (53%) of consumers said they would be more likely to use a health or wellness app if it resulted in insurance premium discounts or cash incentives. But many consumers continue to have concerns about data privacy and security, particularly when it comes to sharing data with insurance providers and employers.

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As insurers and medical practices try to modernize and expand access to healthcare, consumers are hesitant to seek out medical care using new channels such as virtual visits and walk-in clinics, the survey results indicated.

While 30% of respondents have visited an online doctor previously, nearly 60% said they would do so if the need arose in the next six months. Many consumers (59%) still prefer face-to-face interaction and about a quarter are concerned about an improper diagnose with virtual healthcare visits.

Barely half of consumers (48%) have used a walk-in clinic with 57% saying they prefer to see their own doctor and a quarter expressing concern that a walk-in clinic would not have access to their medical history.