Meeting the demands of online healthcare consumers

Today's healthcare consumers expect personalized communications, consistent, multichannel interactions and efficient tools from their insurance companies, Healthcare Payer News reported.

Empowered, online consumers want access to information, which payers can provide through customer engagement platforms. Such platforms will help insurers meet member demands for physician rating tools, regional health trends and personal health records.

As consumers increasingly use mobile platforms to access their health insurance information, insurers need to build applications that help members find the nearest in-network specialist, set medication reminders and alert members to gaps in meeting activity goals, according to Healthcare Payer News.

As diet, exercise and wellness apps become wildly popular with customers and insurers alike, insurers are creating meaningful, customer-specific wellness incentives, which may include premium reductions of up to 30 percent, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To deliver on consumer expectations of personalized communications, insurers should make call center personnel always available to answer complex questions and offer a "live voice," Healthcare Payer News noted. However, caller traffic with inquiries about claims status or deductible or copays can should be handled by more cost effective online tools.

Insurers can strengthen their consumer focus by optimizing member communications. For example, Cigna has found it can better connect with customers by using simple, clear and common-sense language, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Clear communications, especially about coverage offerings and materials, are key to keeping members happy. A January survey found that within the last year, about 1 percent of 1,000 individuals covered by the five biggest health insurance brands couldn't recall whether they received ID cards, 10 percent didn't know if they got a welcome packet or an explanation of benefits, 14 percent don't know if they received coverage documentation and 36 percent were unsure whether or not their insurer offers wellness and disease management services.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Payer News article

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