Companies in the health insurance world are challenged more than ever before. Processing claims is more complex, especially with the enormous amount of data generated, much of which is often fragmented and incomplete. Regulations are also getting more complex, oftentimes requiring systematic changes throughout an entire organization that are disruptive and costly to implement.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect is that the industry is getting intensely more competitive –driven by consumer demands and making it more difficult to retain customers. These customers want convenience and simplicity – and above all, they want to know that their healthcare needs are being taking care of in the best way possible.
To meet the escalating requirements of savvy consumers, insurers must connect with customers in innovative ways and gain their confidence by taking on new roles.
In this environment, the roles of trusted advisor and risk guardian are quickly gaining prominence. So what can trusted advisors and risk guardians offer customers?
Can I trust you to be my advisor?
Consumers today have a wide breadth of choice for not only health insurance, but other insurance services as well. Smart insurers are providing services that help consumers select the right insurance at the right price at the right time. One example of this is the MoneySuperMarket.com, an online provider based in the United Kingdom that makes it easy for customers to explore choices through its online service.
In the role of trusted advisor, MoneySuperMarket provides comprehensive information about different private health insurance options – as well as other insurance services, energy plans, mobile phones, and related shopping offerings. Ease and convenience are forefront here, as the site helps consumers find and fulfill many different needs through one comprehensive, innovative portal.
Acting as a trusted advisor, insurers are also helping consumers achieve better health through preventative care services. A report by America’s Health Insurance Plans, Innovations in Prevention, Wellness, and Risk Reduction says there is scientific evidence that certain preventative health services contribute to a reduced risk of serious illness and disability.
To help consumers take advantage of these services, insurers can provide education on prevention and wellness programs that are often included in health care plans. They can also encourage collaboration with physicians, employers, and other interested parties to increase the awareness and use of recommended preventative services and screenings for early detection of diseases.
Will you guard me from risk?
Once services have been provided and it’s time to wade through a claims process, that’s the time when insurers can become risk guardians. Filing claims and getting reimbursed for covered services can often be a quagmire that is difficult for many, especially individuals requiring many services due to chronic illnesses.
To help and protect consumers through this process, many companies are revamping their health insurance claims management. In fact, this is one of the most critical actions companies can take to make healthcare-related processes faster and easier for consumers. Companies that have undertaken this task are finding that customer satisfaction is increasing dramatically – and they are achieving other benefits too. Employees can process more claims faster, because many of the steps in the end-to-end claims process are automated, which can lower costs and create efficiencies.
How can technology help?
To gain the confidence of their customers, healthcare insurers must compete for their business based on what matters most: preventive care services, quality of care, and easier claims reimbursement. When insurers embrace these goals and build innovative systems that support them, they can better manage costs and claim expenses through improved services that make health insurance management easier and more convenient for customers.
Using the right technology, insurers can realize the following benefits for their companies – and their insured members:
- More efficient patient access to services can enable better health outcomes through preventative care and special health programs.
- Standardized processes can help automate the entire claims process, from first notice to payment and closing.
- Real-time customer and business insights can lead to faster time to market for new and custom products, and help insurers proactively manage risk and compliance.
- Better service and easier renewals can increase customer satisfaction and enhance loyalty.
It’s time to build consumer trust
In her blog, “How to Build Trust and Humanize Your Financial Services Brand,” Meghan Brockmeyer from LinkedIn notes that, “Given today’s uncertain economy and the rising tide of disruption, trust is more important than ever…”
This is certainly true in the world of insurance. Consumers want to work with an insurer that can help them reduce risk throughout the entire healthcare process, from a routine check-up to extended hospital stays. Innovative technology is at the heart of greater customer satisfaction – and higher customer loyalty.