Today, the most valued consumer good is great service. Products rarely come without a suite of support and continued customized experiences. And consumers have come to expect a certain level of service across every industry, from retail to tech, and even health insurance.
Only 9% of U.S. employees showed an understanding of basic insurance terms.1 So, people are depending more on their health plans for support in navigating the confusing health care system and complex terminology, especially with the rise in consumer-directed plans that place more responsibility in the hands of the member. This evolution of customer expectations has led to a new kind of service—a “health concierge service”—while also spurring the addition of more support offerings from health insurance companies. As a result, your clients are being faced with decisions on what kind of health benefits to offer.
To deliver on these expectations, many businesses are now considering ways to incorporate high-touch, personalized services from both their insurance carriers as well as third-party health concierge companies. This shift is encouraging all participants in the health care system to better identify ways to work together and deliver the best experience for the member.
The part of a health concierge
These days, people access their health data by the minute. They’re wearing healthy tech, sharing healthy stats, and daring their friends to keep up. But despite this constant connection to their health, many people don’t know how to use their actual health benefits. In fact, only 19% of employers feel their employees have a good grasp on their benefits.2 So, they place high value on personalized guidance. And since benefits professionals are often challenged to help many employees understand how to use their benefits, while also helping to keep costs down, health concierge companies saw an opportunity to help.
Health concierge services often market themselves as helping employees to:
- Understand their plan options during open enrollment
- Choose the most appropriate providers and medical programs
- Stay connected with providers between appointments
- Handle claims and billing issues
This support is often delivered through digital or app-based communication channels, rather than speaking over the phone, which is most commonly offered by traditional health insurance carriers.
The right balance for your business
Health concierge services deliver individualized health insurance support. But the benefits of their services are multiplied when they collaborate with their customer’s insurance carrier. The real-time insights that insurance carriers can provide on an individual’s medical records, health insurance claims, and drug utilization is critical when tailoring advice and guidance to each individual member.
Insurance carriers that are experienced in customer service and committed to member experience may offer similar services of a health concierge. If the service experience of your employees is an important factor when selecting a health insurance carrier, look for one that offers benefits like enhanced onboarding education, free access to personal health coaches, and a robust suite of support tools for members that will guide them through decisions such as:
- Choosing the right health plan based on their personal medical history
- Learning how to use their benefits correctly
- Saving money by choosing the right providers and facilities
- Comparing costs before receiving care
- Setting and reaching personal health goals with one-on-one coaching
- Discovering the most relevant resources for their current health needs
- Managing their health and coverage when living with a chronic illness
Information is your client’s greatest tool, regardless of the services they choose to offer. But information doesn’t always translate to education, and you can help your clients understand that. People are demanding simplified experiences in the most complex health care landscape we’ve ever seen. And at a time like this, it’s important to help them find the most succinct and impactful way to deliver support to their employees.
We’re continually innovating to meet and exceed the expectations of consumers and employers
1. UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey. (2017, October). 2017 Executive Summary. https://www.uhc.com/content/dam/uhcdotcom/en/general/2017-UHC-Consumer-Sentiment-Survey-Exec-Summary.pdf
2. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. (2016, February). Benefits Communication Survey Results. https://www.ifebp.org/bookstore/benefits-communication-survey-results/Pages/benefits-communication-survey-results.aspx