How Health Plans Can Build a More Powerful Mobile Experience

By Alison Greco, Head of User Research

Could there be three more hot topics for health plans than mobile, engagement and consumer experience? With that in mind, we recently set out to answer some questions about what members want from mobile experiences with their health insurance companies and how plans might be able to build better mobile apps that both perform and engage.

RELATED: Download the white paper, “How to Build a More Powerful Mobile Experience

To provide this information to our clients, we asked Hanover Research to design and launch a survey to understand how consumers use smartphones and mobile apps, with a focus on health care use cases. The research revealed a number of interesting findings, including:

  • Overall, consumers who use their health insurer’s online portal use their mobile devices to accomplish quicker tasks and their desktops to accomplish more time-consuming tasks. Common tasks performed on mobile devices include paying premiums (59%) and looking up covered services (45%). Common desktop activities include reviewing claims (51%), finding the cost of a procedure or service (48%) and researching other plans (46%). Consumers are split as far as common tasks performed on tablets.
  • Among those not currently using mobile apps from their insurers, consumers are most likely to expect help with finding care and navigating their policy. The most common expectations include the ability to find a doctor (66%), look up covered services (59%) and contact customer service (58%). No other features are expected by more than half of consumers.
  • Consumers indicate a wide array of services and features would be important, though no single capability is favored by more than half of respondents. Searching for specialists (47%), seeing which medications are covered (46%), and looking up contact information for doctors (43%) rank as most important, though other features related to understanding costs also score highly.
  • When considering tasks consumers would like to handle but currently cannot do on their mobile devices, finding the cost of a service or procedure is number one with just under a quarter of consumers (23%). Aside from finding the cost of a procedure, consumers are relatively divided among various services, including finding a doctor (20%), reviewing claims (19%), looking up covered services (19%), and paying a medical bill (19%). However, approximately one in three consumers indicate they would not like to perform any health care related task on their mobile device (32%).
  • Overall, younger consumers indicate a greater interest in health care-related apps. Approximately half of consumers under 45 indicate they already use an app from their health insurance company. The same consumers also indicate a higher willingness to use bot-based online health care tools than those 45 and older. Younger consumers are also more likely to use chat applications to get technical support or to speak with customer service.

After reviewing the findings and applying knowledge from our existing user research, we boiled it down into a white paper that includes specific examples of how plans can build better apps. You can download your copy now.

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