How digital self-service features benefit your health plan

September 23, 2021
Josie Rasberry

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We talk about digital self-service features quite a bit, and for good reason. There are several statistics and studies that show healthcare consumers want self-service features:

  • 57.5% of people surveyed across all ages believe it’s important for their health plan to offer digital self-service features.
  • One study showed 58% of respondents seek online tools to compare and review payers.
  • In 2018, 27% of those surveyed said they left their health plan because a competitor had better/more self-service options.

It’s obvious that people want digital self-service options, but what do you gain by providing those features? Is it really worth it? The short answer is yes, but if you need more convincing, keep reading.

What is a digital self-service feature?

Healthcare innovation has no shortage of digital capabilities and self-service features, but some are more worthwhile than others. Digital self-service features we recommend that improve the member experience and meet your business goals are:

How does your health plan benefit from digital self-service features?

A good member experience is likely one of your top goals as a health plan. If members aren’t happy with their experiences, you’ll see negative reviews, low retention, and stalled growth. Digital self-service features benefit you greatly when you’re using them to improve the member experience. In fact, plans that invest in digital outperform others in overall satisfaction and retention by nearly 5% and are 26% more profitable than their peers!

Offering digital self-service features can also reduce work for your busy teams. For example, you could offer some of these services as self-service options for members:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Claims management
  • Benefit information access
  • Price estimates

That way, your members spend less time waiting on the phone and your internal teams can dedicate more time to assisting members with more complicated issues. This means better team morale and better member satisfaction.

Finally, perhaps one of the best benefits for your health plan, is that it saves you and your members money. Let’s use healthcare shopping (an excellent digital self-service feature) as an example. If you offer digital shopping tools to members, it ensures they go to in-network providers that you’ve already negotiated with and they get a great price. This helps your members avoid expensive out-of-network bills. Even if your health plan doesn’t operate on an in-network basis, making sure members go to affordable providers is still beneficial since it can lower your claims amounts.Plus, providing a great member experience can lead to higher retention, which saves you money on expensive acquisition costs. In fact, providing a high-quality experience can lower the actual cost of serving members by up to 33%.

Final thoughts.

Digital self-service features aren’t just a “nice-to-have” benefit for members that want it. The right digital tools will save you money, improve member retention, and increase member satisfaction. Not to mention, you’ll be more competitive and ahead of the game when you offer the latest digital innovations in your plan offerings. 

TAKE THE SURVEY

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 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 Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

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

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 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 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 Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

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

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 Sedera Case Study

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

Download The Lowering Organizational Member Cost Guide

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

Download The Lowering Organizational Member Cost Guide

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

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 Growing Your Health Plan Membership

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

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

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

Download Healthcare Consumerism 101: A Playbook for Health Plans

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

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