Consumer Driven Healthcare – How it stands for the Payers?

For the first time, many Americans are comparing and analyzing healthcare plans before buying one most suited to them. This is a huge change from how health plans were looked at earlier in the system. But, many of the first time insurance buyers are not health literate, which makes it difficult for them to understand and choose a correct plan. Payer marketing on health insurance exchanges should now work towards building a system which is user friendly and which can help users buy a cover suited to their health needs and financial constraints.

One of the primary requirements is to improve health literacy. Tools, which will aid users, understand the healthcare terminology, and plan inclusions must be included into the plan selection process. In a recent survey, conducted by Enroll America, two-thirds of the participants expressed that they wish to have more information on health insurance terms, which will give them better confidence while selecting a plan.

Secondly, plan comparison is a big step in the process of insurance plan selection.  A comparison chart which gets populated based on the user requisites will help them understand what each plan covers and a list of in-network providers will help the users make an informed choice. Out of pocket payments also vary from one plan to another, these consist of those payments that need to be made before the insurance starts paying for your healthcare. Apart from providing this data, one of the mandatory aspects is the accuracy and recency of the data available to the users. Here, it is essential that health plans and policy makers work together to ensure quick updates are maintained for the information. The monthly premium payable is another important detail which needs to be understood and this amount is payable irrespective of the usage of medical services.

Another important aspect on consumer driven features is enhancing personalized experience through customer outreach, multi-channel commerce, mobility and social media. Greater personalization and individual relevance helps in better decisions and increases personal engagement. Personalized messages, direct access to dollar balances, decision support system for consumer-influenced decisions, online cost estimators, quality data and care comparisons aiding provider selection, etc.

Consumer driven healthcare has been the way ahead for providers as well as payers. Digital offerings from healthcare payers, such as United Healthcare include mobile payment options coupled with claim and benefit information. They also offer a comparative pricing of different kinds of services offered by various providers, for the consumers to make an informed choice. This allows users to always have access to their healthcare spends and enables them to take charge of their health on the go through the various wearable integration options available.

In spite of the aim to drive consumer driven healthcare, there has been mixed success for many payer digital offering. This can be attributed to consumer expectations and app capabilities. This will surely require many iterations and changes to become a fully able product offering.

A constant inhibitor in app success is bringing the user back into the app, and interacting with it. Downloading an app does not ensure interaction and many a times, apps might be removed from the device after a short period of time. Mobile app development with a compelling user interaction path that is optimized and effective requires skill and can be bettered through different user persona creation.

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