You often hear or read about the importance of creating an engaging online user experience. But in the health insurance industry, engagement isn’t like the customer experience people have when they are ordering from Amazon. Your customers come to you with complicated questions about coverage, healthcare, and costs. They often are unsure about coinsurance and copays and need to be introduced to the differences between in and out-of-network provider coverage. Their experiences are vastly different from everyday online shopping experiences, which will require a more comprehensive user experience model.
Like traditional commerce, your health plan service will also need an engaging user experience at its entry point. However, there are key elements to include in your strategy that won’t necessarily apply to the general business or eCommerce world. And today, we’ll help you unravel three ways to improve your user experience for participating members in a way that allows you to also reach higher retention rates, increased enrollment, and better bottom-line results.
1. Building Trust Through Transparency
In the health insurance segment, consumers will choose your plan based on their level of trust in understanding in your company and what you offer. To improve your user experience, consider implementing these trust-building strategies within your platforms. Give your customers all the information they need to make informed, confident decisions.
Transparency in Coverage
Look for ways to make shopping for health plans with your organization an easy experience. Be straightforward about coverages, in-network constraints, and standards. Use language average consumers can understand whenever possible and offer clear definitions for any industry lingo. For the best user experience, make all of these coverage details easy to compare, so members feel empowered.
Transparency in Pricing
Hidden costs and misunderstood charges will lead to disgruntled member experiences. Instead, look for ways to build engagement platforms that offer complete transparency in pricing. Provide ranges when unique scenarios make pinpoint pricing challenging to predict. And remind members what services are free and which require copays or coinsurance cost-sharing.
Transparency in Data Exchange
When a customer chooses your health plan, they won’t want to be a middleman between their healthcare providers and your coverage provisions. When a physician’s office says you should call your insurance to see if this procedure is covered, your member sighs and likely dreads having to make the call. If you can implement data exchanging software or strategies that allow you to relieve your members of those unnecessary steps between care and coverage, you’ll be enhancing your overall user experience.
2. The Hybrid Customer Service Model
Today’s consumers are savvy about online decision-making. They want to take the reins, do their own homework, and feel good about what they’re buying. As a health insurance provider, however, the digital-only, AI-driven call center method of customer service may not be the most user-friendly strategy. As a result, most companies are finding success with a hybrid customer service model.
Automate the Easy Steps
There will be some steps you can automate, improving the customer experience. Anyone looking to re-enroll in an existing plan, for example, would benefit from a simplified enrollment process. Enhanced Direct Enrollment options can be game-changers, as well. Walk through every step of your member engagement journey and look for ways to automate the most straightforward requests.
Provide Support for the Complicated Steps
Where your customers may need help, be there. Don’t try to automate more complicated processes and when there are gray areas to discuss. Instead, have a dedicated member of your staff available to help. Nothing is more infuriating than trying to find an answer to a question that a predetermined FAQ section or bot can’t answer. To create an environment conducive for the best user experience, make sure you have qualified team members ready to talk customers through their concerns.
Flexibility and Customization Options
User experience enhancement doesn’t mean trying to create a one-size-fits-all coverage solution. In fact, offering flexibility and customization where you can, will send the message to your members that they’re not numbers in your system. They’re people with real healthcare needs. And you can change certain aspects of your services to adapt to those personalized preferences.
3. Robust Communication Enhancements
If you think you’re having a hard time keeping up with all of the latest changes and guidelines regarding the ACA, coverage essentials, and timelines, imagine how the consumer must feel right now. They need an expert to introduce them to their health insurance options. They need gentle reminders about timelines and critical decisions. And they need their insurance providers to have all their relevant data in one convenient place.
In general, most people will only have to review coverage and make health insurance decisions once each year. The other 364 days they won’t be talking about health insurance, we promise. It’s this infrequency that can sometimes lead to confusion or missing critical deadlines for enrollment. Part of your communication strategy should include sharing gentle reminders across a variety of channels, making your team available for questions and next steps.
The user experience for your health plan organization isn’t going to be like an Amazon transaction, as previously mentioned. However, you can take a page from the Amazon playbook and develop a robust communication strategy for follow-up and member feedback. Reach out to ensure each engagement or claims submission was handled appropriately. Be available for ongoing questions and ask for member feedback to gauge if there are other areas of potential improvement.
Some of your user experience lies within your platform’s ability to share critical data. Interoperability solutions can ensure you can transcend data from healthcare providers into convenient interfaces your members can use. It’s a back-office strategy that can make your customer’s engagement more meaningful, with all relevant data at his or her fingertips. It also fosters an environment of support and empowerment as members feel more informed about managing their overall health.
If you’re still looking for additional ideas or ways to improve the user experience within your network, let us help! Making enhancements in the health insurance industry will require a different strategy than traditional businesses. W3LL can help you make the changes you need to make to ensure a successful upcoming Open Enrollment period, as well.