Health insurers look to digital tools to improve customer experience

Health insurance customers generally report poor experiences with their health plans. Only utility and internet and television service providers have worse customer service scores, and that's saying something. But health insurers say investing in digital tools and other technologies can help them fix this and give their customers a personalized, frictionless healthcare experience.

"The reality out there is the system is complex, and we all own a part of that, whether you're on the payer side or the provider side," said Gregory Brown, a divisional senior vice president at Health Care Service Corp., told an audience at AHIP's Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum this week. He continued later, "We need to invest in our digital capabilities in a way that will advance simplifying the system and help educate our consumer base out there."

Simplifying the healthcare system and making it easier to navigate is becoming an imperative for health insurers as they face the threat of losing membership to well-funded startups who—instead of redefining complicated terms like "deductible"—are just getting rid of them. It's also becoming more important as healthcare costs continue to squeeze employers and individuals alike.

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