As the health insurance industry continues to change and insurers catch up with other industries in the application of e-commerce approaches, they can learn a lot from others. Right now, the customer experience is king and consumer expectations are high. According to a recent Forrester survey of enterprise business and technology decision-makers, there are three major areas of investment in digital customer experiences: online experiences, adding or improving mobile experiences, and improving cross-channel experiences. As insurers employ their private exchanges for e-commerce across their commercial group and individual business, making similar investments will pay off.

GetInsured believes that personalization and decision support play critical roles in helping consumers select the health and voluntary products that best meet their needs. Further, through interactions with companies like Uber, Amazon and Apple, consumers are no longer surprised when a company knows things about them, such as their last purchase, their buying preferences and other personal information. In parallel, consumers’ overall satisfaction with the insurer is highly dependent on how the shopping journey on the private exchange feels to them – across devices and channels.

Taking a lesson from retail, shoppers typically fall within five personas that represent different motivations and behaviors:
5 Private Exchange Health Insurance Consumer Personas
For each of these personas, the shopping process might be different, not simply a linear, one-size-fits-all flow. It’s important that each shopper be able to move through the shopping and enrollment process as quickly or as methodically as they choose. In the individual market especially, it’s important to engage shoppers quickly and anonymously, so there are no barriers to advancing. For consumers purchasing individual plans, this experience extends to both on- and off-exchanges products. Along the way, there should be opportunities to gather contact information, such as an email address, for lead capture and further engagement. When it comes to product evaluation, the private exchange needs to present health and voluntary products appropriate to the shoppers’ needs, offer guidance to evaluate those products, and finally lead them through enrollment, billing and payment.