The post-healthcare reform era is causing a shift to a more consumer-centric insurance environment. Due to the rise in consumerism, payers are looking for ways to engage with their consumers to remain competitive and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
UnitedHealthcare is focusing on three main areas to meet the ongoing demands of its customers. In an article for Healthcare Payer News, UnitedHealth's Chief Consumer Officer Tom Paul recommends health insurers do the following:
1. Educate consumers
To help consumers make the right healthcare choices, it's important to provide educational materials and resources so they know how to access care, Paul notes. Using its own independent research, UnitedHealth determined consumers find the health insurance industry to be complex and complicated, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. So the insurer developed a "Happiness Counts" kit that informs seniors--via postcards and journals--on how to best manage their care by using clear language.
2. Meet administrative needs
UnitedHealth's member portal, myuhc.com, provides its members with pertinent benefit and network information. The member portal meets members' administrative needs by using simple language to explain how benefits are applied, Paul writes.
And because mobile apps are now trending in the industry, the insurer offers the Health4Me appl to members and nonmembers, which provides prices for more than 520 medical services, reports the News-Press. The app aims to improve transparency by giving consumers access to medical cost information.
2. Leverage payment preferences
The insurer recognized its members prefer to pay their healthcare bills in one online location. So UnitedHealth began emailing consumers a link to the member portal once they had a new claim. The web portal gives members options on how to pay their bills--credit card, debit card or their Health Savings Account, notes Paul. This not only helps members manage their finances, but it ensures providers get paid more quickly.