Less than half of members are satisfied with their health plan: survey

Insurers still have plenty of work to do when it comes to improving member satisfaction, according to a new survey.

Tech company HealthEdge polled more than 2,800 insured people to delve into their attitudes toward their health plan and where they think payers can improve the experience. Less than half (45%) said they were fully satisfied with their health coverage.

As a more digitally enabled, consumer-centric experience becomes the norm, payers need to ensure the digital platforms they're offering members keep with those expectations, the survey found. For example, 85% said they are more satisfied with their health plan when insurers communicate with them in the ways they prefer.

“Market dynamics are creating a perfect storm for payers—one that requires a renewed focus on personalizing member experiences and improving member satisfaction," said Christine Davis, senior vice president of marketing at HealthEdge, in an announcement.

"Forward-thinking health plans are adopting modern technology solutions that enable greater access to meaningful data, omni-channel engagement capabilities and more personalized care management strategies to meet the onslaught of challenges in today’s healthcare landscape," she added.

A majority (66%) of those surveyed said they trust their insurer over the government or nontraditional players like Amazon and Walmart to administer benefits. However, 40% blamed health plans for the high cost of care in the U.S.

The survey asked respondents what they think insurers should be doing to improve satisfaction. Five steps ranked highest:

  1. Offer members incentives and/or rewards for healthy behaviors.
  2. Ensure they can easily access their medical records.
  3. Connect them to providers who offer care based on their preferences and personal traits.
  4. Provide high-quality customer service.
  5. Deploy tools and information that members can use to avoid high-cost care.

In addition to the broad trends, the survey identified differences between different coverage groups. Members in dual eligible plans had the highest satisfaction, according to the report.

While respondents over age 65 largely prefer communication through traditional channels, people between age 18 and 24 were four times as likely to prefer communication through digital methods such as texting and mobile app messaging.

“For this on-the-go, mobile-everything population, convenience isn’t an option—it’s a necessity,” Davis said.