With the healthcare sector evolving, a significant change is observed across the marketplace, and that is an increased focus on the consumers. Both large and small health insurance providers are emphasizing on empowering the consumers by giving them a variety of tools that help them control their care and coverage. Health insurance companies have focused on consumers in many ways, the most significant being consumer portals, where the consumer can view their plan details, see messages from their plan, and can also pay their bills. The concept of consumer portals has become common among health insurance companies that greatly benefit consumers and also allow providers to innovate tools that they provide to consumers. Some of these changes include provider directories, mobile apps, and reward programs.
Directories of Healthcare Providers
Healthcare provider directories include an extensive listing of clinicians, physicians, facilities, and pharmacies having a contract with an insurer to provide medical services to their members. Individuals can make use of the directories to find information like healthcare provider address and specialty, and to find out whether their primary care physician is within the plan’s network or not, and if a nearby hospital or pharmacy is included in their plan’s network or not. Earlier the directories were in printed format and updated once in a year. Now, these are online posted in a format that is accessible and searchable for all consumers who want access to reliable information.
Health insurance companies like Cigna and Oscar Health have well recognized the fact that consumers today love to have convenience. So, these companies have come up with mobile apps that allow consumers to accomplish several tasks like viewing coverage information, making appointments, to connecting with a doctor on call. These apps have empowered consumers by bringing difficult tasks at their fingertips. Today consumers prefer engagement with their insurers, and a poll suggests that the majority of consumers would provide their personal, and real-time healthcare information to their provider.
Health insurance companies have realized the financial stress on individuals or families, in case of a medical emergency or healthcare crisis. Thus, to reduce some of the stress and burden, insurers come up with reward programs and health assessments. Some of the health insurance companies reward members, who actively participate in staying and living healthy. Consumers can earn their wellness rewards by filling out a health assessment form and logging their healthy activities.