Retailers have been doing it well for years. When you watch and rate movies and TV shows on Netflix, you are presented with a list of other things you’ll probably enjoy watching as well. In fact, you could watch all day and night and never run out of content to view. What is standing in the way of health insurers doing what Netflix does so well?
Unfortunately, we consumers with our lack of understanding about health insurance and our commitment to incorrect assumptions often stand in the way. According to a recent article on this topic in the Wall Street Journal, “Researchers have found that workers tend to over-insure themselves, decisions which cost themselves and their employers thousands a year. Yet getting employees to switch coverage is hard, and studies show as many as 90 percent of workers stick with the same benefits year after year.”
At GetInsured, understanding the consumer goes to the heart of what we do. Applying the principles of personalization to healthcare e-commerce through insurer-led private exchanges could be a game-changer. By combining layers of data – both traditional e-commerce data and health insurance-specific data – with advanced decision support tools, the health insurance shopping experience can be transformed. This combination not only enhances the consumer experience, but also provides greater ability to recommend products that specifically fit the consumer’s preferences and circumstances.
In situations such as the one highlighted in the WSJ article, this level of personalization and decision support can go a long way toward helping consumers confidently make better choices for their health insurance plans as well as voluntary benefits that might be available to them. Using data provided by the consumer, such as demographic information, and data provided by the insurer, such as clinical history, the private exchange can tailor the shopping process to the consumer. It can walk the consumer through their own considerations, such as expected utilization, preferences for deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance, provider preferences, and prescription medication needs. Based on that information, the private exchange can present plans for review and selection that best fit the consumer.
At the end of the process, the consumer can see how their preferences led to the plans suggested, which gives them more confidence in making their final selections. Insurers have more tools than ever before to help their members enroll in plans that truly fit their current needs. Moreover, insurers have the opportunity to create attractive packages and bundles, up-sell and cross-sell products, and enhance consumer engagement and loyalty.