Three benefits for health plans when members shop for healthcare

July 6, 2021
Lindsey Logan

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New price transparency rules went into effect at the beginning of this year, and with that, we’ve seen a push toward more consumer-centric healthcare. It’s an important shift to pay attention to as individuals are willing and wanting to shop for care. In fact, 78% of consumers said they would travel further if it meant they would receive better care. Health plans need to be aware of their members' desire to shop for healthcare, as it can benefit plans as much as members. Let’s dive into some of those benefits.    

Healthcare shopping lowers costs for you too.

This is especially true for health cost sharing groups. Since they share medical care costs, taking the time to find the best price or the right doctor can make a big impact. Having members shop for healthcare can benefit other types of health plans too. For example, if you offer shopping to members, it helps ensure they go to in-network providers that you’ve already negotiated with. This helps to 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.

Offering healthcare shopping capabilities improves member satisfaction.

According to a survey conducted by HealthPocket, prices matter to the overwhelming majority of consumers. 91% believe costs for medical services should be as accessible as prices on a restaurant menu. 96% responded that hospitals should be upfront about pricing before the treatment occurs. And 86% said if they were given the option, they would compare pricing online before going to the hospital. We have created a Smart Healthcare Platform that makes shopping-and-comparing easy for your members.    

Supporting healthcare consumerism can improve member growth.

Research released by the national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies shows that millennials are more likely to be uninsured compared to older generations. When asked why they lack insurance, 60% of uninsured millennials say it's too expensive. More so than the older generations, uninsured millennials say they don't have time to acquire coverage. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to provide coverage for potential members by making things too complicated or expensive. Make it easy to access the tools needed to find and afford healthcare. Americans in need of insurance coverage will notice that your health plan is making things simple and transparent, which could help you increase membership.

Final thoughts.

Given the option, consumers will shop for healthcare. And despite what many think, your members shopping for healthcare can actually benefit your health plan. Offering tools for easy healthcare shopping can set your health plan apart from others, improving member satisfaction, retention, and growth. When you embrace healthcare consumerism, you’ll also potentially save your organization and your members money, which is a big win for everyone.

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 Sedera Case Study

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

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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 Retaining Health Plan Members.

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

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