The Digital Mandate for Health Plans – Cognizant whitepaper
Article Synopsis :
Digitisation is rewriting the rules of insurance distribution and servicing with incumbent companies at risk of being left behind in an increasingly mobile, web and social driven market place.
The whitepaper “The Digital Mandate for Health Plans”, by Cognizant tries to identify the key consumer expectations from health plan providers in this new era of digitisation. The paper acknowledges that buying power is shifting from group to individual consumers and identifies the services consumers want delivered digitally, as well as answers when and how to deliver them while balancing competing priorities for technology investments.
Cognizant surveyed 1,600 respondents aged 18 to 65 across 47 states in the U.S., 86% of which were members of employer-sponsored plans (the balance members of individual plans). The focus of the survey was to uncover customers need for features, functionality and delivery and interaction methods in the purchase of health insurance products.
The survey measures digital channel preference and customer satisfaction levels on each of the channels. The top ten survey findings help plan providers to prioritize investments for 2016 and beyond:
- 84% of members prefer to interact digitally with insurers. Quality, maturity and effectiveness of digital customer services are also important.
- Members expect advanced digital shopping capabilities with 80% preferring to shop via online channels vs. interacting with agents, brokers or navigators.
- More than 50% of members want robust digital capabilities to manage payer relationships.
- Members want mobility first with 75% customer satisfaction when services can be accessed via mobile.
- Payers must promote digital features aggressively and make them worthwhile.
- Digital should not be limited to Millennials.
- Members of both group and individual plans share key expectations — 76% of the employer group plan members have the same digital expectations as individual plan members.
- Digital expectations differ between national regional plan members with 65% national plan members adopting web and mobile applications as compared to 54% to 55% for regional members.
- Members are not so social, with only 3% naming social as their preferred platform for communication.
- Members worry about privacy, trust and security — 70% of members rate online data security to be very important.
Based on these findings plan providers should:
- Improve digital services and operations.
- Invest in advanced digital shopping capabilities such as websites and streamlining end-to-end workflows.
- Invest in capabilities delivering paperless real-time business transactions. This should also be coupled with a strong digital communication strategy for engaging customers.
- Build mobile capabilities in sync with online portals and all devices such as tablets, phones, PCs and laptops.
- Build awareness about the plan’s digital capabilities with continuous promotion driving members to digital channels. Also make the digital channel features simple and easy to find.
- Insurers should keep all age groups in mind while crafting digital strategy.
- Payers can invest in building a private exchange or delivering digital capabilities through broker channels for group and individual members alike.
- National and Blue plan providers can collaborate to leverage economies of scale to build digital capabilities. Regional plan providers can explore options to create innovative, as-a-service-based commercial contracts with digital vendors.
- Social media investments need not be one of the top priorities for health plan payers.
- Cyber security and privacy protection should be a key focus.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsDigital is a moving target and as such can be frustrating for mainline carriers. But digital helps differentiate products, improve customer satisfaction, and create more forward looking business models so a winning strategy is essential.
This survey does an excellent job highlighting the needs and expectations of individual and group plan members. The results can help insurers target specific areas for investment in an ordered way. Successful digital transformation is not ‘big bang’ but a series of smaller initiatives linked together via a cohesive plan.
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