The vast, confusing marketplace of health plan options and a tendency to rely on complex medical terminology and acronyms can create a disconnect with healthcare consumers. Clear, educational content about health plan choices and benefits, along with transparency, will inspire confidence and trust with members. Consumers also respond well to information that goes beyond insurance-based transactions to conversations about wellness, prevention, healthcare quality and lifestyle.
This is a remarkable opportunity for content marketing. Health plan marketers can start by focusing on defining what is valuable content for their customers and prospects, and determining how consumers will best access the information.
Here are other key opportunities for payers to engage with consumers through mobile content.
Create “Life Event” Sites
To address this need, technology vendors are working with insurers to develop “life event” sites, which provide shareable content in a nontraditional, highly engaging way. Creating content for sub-sites around life events, such as making healthy New Year’s resolutions, pregnancy and childbirth, can engage members in the moment when it is relevant to their immediate needs as opposed to presenting one site for all content where consumers must search through huge amounts of information to find what they need.
Provide Timely Content
Healthcare consumers also appreciate contextual and relevant information about their health, such as timely trends and data based on the experiences of others like them—whether that’s based on demographic, gender, disease-related or lifestyle similarities. They want authentic and genuine communications, not mildly disguised sales pitches.
Getting this right is not easy. United Healthcare addresses this need with its Health4Me mobile app, which provides round-the-clock access to registered nurses, the ability to locate in-network physicians, hospitals and other medical facilities, and access to information about their personal health benefits information, plus helpful health and wellness materials.
Make Use of Gamification
Mobile apps incorporating games and challenges can be a fun way to engender consumer engagement while simultaneously exchanging information that can help both the insurer and the consumer. For instance, given the popularity of wearables, an insurance provider could develop a mobile app that integrates with a device such as the FitBit to track personal health goals and other indicators necessary to prevent or manage illnesses. Apps allowing the consumer to create a personal health risk assessment are popular, along with diet and nutrition apps and calculators enabling members to predict their out-of-pocket expenses.
Explore Additional Incentives
Consumers can be empowered to be more accountable for their own health with the proper incentives; some will even work directly with caregivers and physicians to create personal health management plans. Mobile technology that collects data from individuals will also create a more comprehensive, up-to-date patient record, benefiting in-person visits and prevention as well as supporting clinical research.