An Increasing Number of Consumers are Disappointed with their Private Health Carriers

Around 60 percent of the privately insured health plan members show dissatisfaction with their private insurance carriers, as they were neither informed and updated with the information related to COVID-19 nor they were guided for the future course-of-action amid the pandemic. According to J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study, 48% of privately insured consumers said that their health plan carriers do not show any concern for their health since the outbreak of the pandemic.

These two data clearly indicate that a health insurance marketplace lacks focus on customer engagement, thereby creating a risk for disruption as several private health insurance providers preparing to venture into the marketplace. People believe that health plans lack a customer-centric mindset and they do not put customer’s interest first. These drawbacks though not new but become more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic. If traditional health plans have to survive the threat from disruptors, then they need to build a relationship with consumers. They need to do this to improve the health of the members, reduce costs, and help consumers navigate through the healthcare system to find a plan.

Around 36% of commercial health plan members are satisfied with their health plans, and say that their plans act in their best interest most of the time, and around 25% of members say that their health plan carriers are their trusted partner in their health and wellness. However, the health insurance sector has the lowest overall satisfaction score among all the industries, as evaluated by J.D. Power.

Health insurance carriers who engage with their members to help them coordinate care or to provide advice on controlling cost drive significant customer satisfaction. Besides, even expanding telehealth usage also increases overall customer satisfaction. With the increasing use of telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend will continue to grow, as per the J.D. Power study. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. 9% of commercial health plan members said they used telehealth and of those who have not used telehealth, 48% of them said that they would use it if it were covered under their plans. As per the J.D. Power research conducted from March 15 to May 1, it shows that 75% of U.S. health insurance members know about telehealth, but 54% of members don’t know whether telehealth services are part of their healthcare benefits or not.

The study measures satisfaction among members of 149 health plans in 21 regions of the U.S. and it examines factors like cost, billing and payment, coverage and benefits, customer service, provider choice, and information and communication. The study is based on responses of 31,283 commercial health plan members.

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