Developing Modern, Simplified Health Plan Member Portals
Corporate Insight recently attended the eighth annual World Health Congress Health Plan Consumer Experience & Retention Summit. In the two days of excellent sessions on the ideas, solutions and challenges of engaging members, one in particular stood out. In his session, Steven Webster of Health New England spoke about the health plan’s modern simplification of its member portal. Modern simplification, Webster said, is “the ability to take a complex experience and create simplicity while delivering the message and the experience in a modern way.” Healthcare plans historically have segmented their different functions into completely disparate platforms, which are cumbersome for users as they must maintain separate accounts to access each. Webster advocates for integrating the platforms into one portal for ease of use as several other industries have already done.
Member portal models today segment their pharmacy, telehealth, wellness, claims, explanation of benefits, coverage details, provider information and health history components, creating individual different experiences for each. According to Webster, the key to modern simplification is understanding a health plan’s different member properties and portals and their current user experience to develop a fully integrated portal through the perspective of the customer. Here, Webster stressed the importance of the brand, the member services teams and reducing costs for the overall system while thinking about the impact on the members and delivering an autonomous experience for them.
In responding to this challenge, Health New England started integrating several of the disparate components into the member portal, including wellness reimbursement claims, health savings account balances, curated wellness content and a telehealth widget. Its members no longer are redirected to different portals, complete with different respective passwords and experiences, and instead access Health New England’s comprehensive member portal. This brings the plan up to date with retirement and other financial institutions that have already integrated most of their offerings, a standard of simplicity users have come to expect across industries.
With the world of healthcare continually changing and becoming even more complex, there is a challenge to provide a connected and dynamic digital ecosystem. According to Webster, health plans should deliver a customer experience that delights while they figure out how to prepare for the next battleground like with blockchain technology and health records security, augmented/virtual reality and empowering members to be stewards of their health as well as other technologies through new partnerships with companies like Apple, IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa and Fitbit.