Digital capabilities to take your health plan to the next level

August 26, 2021
Lindsey Logan

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If you want to keep up with your competition, it’s necessary to keep your plan offerings updated. Taking a moment to improve your benefits can increase member satisfaction and member growth. While add-ons may cost money upfront, there are many that actually have the potential to save you money in the long run. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide which benefits to start with, but you can’t go wrong with digital capabilities. Let’s dive into some of the best ones. 

Telemedicine.

The use of telehealth capabilities has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people found themselves dependent on telehealth as they were nervous or unable to go into a physical office for an appointment. And now that so many people have used telehealth, many have reported they’ll continue to use it even after the pandemic. In fact, 85% of respondents in one study said they were likely to choose telehealth for their next appointment. Survey respondents listed convenience and reduced travel time as benefits. Other positives that respondents noted were:

- Flexibility.

- Reduced contact with sick people.

- Saving money on transportation and childcare.

As a health plan, you can meet this member desire by adding telemedicine coverage to your plan benefits.

Digital self-service features.

If you don’t already offer your members digital self-service features, you should start. If you do already offer digital features, make sure you are continually improving them. Nothing moves as fast as tech. What’s best-in-class today can be outdated by next year. Plus, your members want digital self-service features. A study conducted by Cognizant showed that respondents of all ages said the availability of digital self-service features is important to them. The top three features that were most important to members included looking up benefits, searching for in-network providers, and checking on claim status. Meeting these expectations can increase member satisfaction, improve retention, and increase membership growth. In fact, a 2018 study showed that plans with digital features outperformed others in overall satisfaction and retention by nearly 5%. Adding self-service features also cuts down on your internal teams’ workload, which will save your company time and money that can be allocated elsewhere to further improve your plan.    

Shop-and-compare apps.

At the end of the day, your members are consumers. And what do consumers love? Shopping. Healthcare is no different. When people are given the ability to shop-and-compare providers, more often than not, they will. According to surveys conducted by McKinsey, from 2016 to 2018 the number of consumers who strongly prefer to order their prescriptions online rose by 10%. And the number of consumers that strongly prefer to search for hospital systems online rose by 13%. These statistics show us that people want to be able to shop for healthcare, compare providers, and know the cost of care ahead of time. An app, like ours, lets members shop for non-emergency healthcare services, prescription medications, and providers. This not only saves them time and money, but it saves your health plan money by ensuring members go to in-network providers and facilities. And even if they do go with someone out-of-network because their cash pay price was more affordable, you know that your member satisfaction ratings are going to go up for offering a transparent, easy, and cost-effective digital capability to members.

Final thoughts.

Stay competitive and don’t let yourself fall behind in industry trends. If you do, members will go elsewhere. Take time to invest in improving your digital offerings, because it will pay off in the long run. Telemedicine, digital self-service features, and shop-and-compare apps are easy and effective ways to start.

Is Your Health Plan a Tech Whiz or a Dinosaur?

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Download Your Guide to 2022's Healthcare Policy Changes

Discover the major changes happening that affect you, how to prepare, and even how to make the new rules work in your favor.

Download How to Leverage Ambulatory Surgical Centers for Lower Costs and Higher Satisfaction

Discover how TPAs, health cost sharing groups, and limited benefit medical plans can benefit from the use of ASCs.

Download the Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Learn the best strategies and tips for growing your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Lowering Member Costs

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download Healthcare Consumerism 101: A Playbook for Health Plans

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download Your Guide to the Transparency in Coverage Rule

Discover how the the new rule will affect TPAs and health plans and how you can start your journey to compliance.

Download Your Guide to Unique Benefit Offerings that Don't Break the Bank

Discover how to add value to your health offerings that delight clients and members but don’t cost a fortune.

Download the Complete Sedera Case Study

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

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