By Kristine Kurschner, Vice President, Client Management and Commercial Payer Strategy Leader, Xerox Services
In today’s volatile healthcare landscape, the process of becoming insured is complicated. More than half (54 percent) of health-insured Americans have experienced challenging or frustrating situations during previous open enrollment periods. This year, 22 percent report they have not decided which coverage plan they will select. Open enrollment kicks off on November 1 for many Americans. This means health insurers should make a choice now: Adapt their services to meet the demands of consumers, or run the risk of losing the “undecided vote.”
This data comes from our 2016 Xerox Services Consumer Open Enrollment Survey conducted online in September 2016 by Harris Poll on behalf of Xerox. They questioned approximately over 2,000 U.S. adults about their health insurance knowledge, open enrollment preferences and past experiences.
In order to capture the attention of prospective members and engage with their current member base, insurers will need to meet two critical, consumer needs.
Americans want fewer questions, more expertise
Not only are we creatures of habit, but we crave familiarity. This familiarity plays out in consumer-based healthcare that pushes insurers to better understand the populations they serve to improve the value of the coverage they provide. It’s startling, then, to see that 20 percent of health-insured Americans said they were asked for their personal information more than once during an open enrollment process, and only 19 percent of Americans who had a conversation with their insurer said the representative was prepared with their personal information/medical history. This leads to frustration as patients are asked to repeat themselves over and over again. Fifty-six percent expect a health insurer to have most of, if not all, of their personal health information from medical records at the ready.
In order to adhere to the “ask me once” patient mentality, insurers should enhance their communication strategies to limit the number of questions they ask. Our technology-enabled approach addresses this by showcasing to the customer that their insurer not only knows them, but will help them find optimal care. We make this happen by focusing on call simplification, easier search capabilities, automated navigation, a holistic view of all relevant member data, and intelligent interactions based on real-time input.
More than half of Americans expect their health insurer to have their personal medical information at the ready during open enrollment.
While open enrollment kicks off in a few short days, the period will run until January 31, 2017. There’s still time for insurers to that customize the experience of each member’s healthcare journey to meet the demands of increasingly empowered health consumers.