New research released by Accenture shows that patients trust health systems that provide health insurance (provider-led insurers) more than traditional insurers like the Blues and other commercial plans. The data is significant given the recent launch of health insurance exchanges under federal health care reform.
According to the data, patients trust the information given by their health care provider 46% more often and are also more willing (80%) to recommend provider led health insurance plans to their family and friends. Much of the support for these plans stems from customer experience, specifically, 75% of patients with these insurance plans reported a more satisfying end-to-end customer experience than with private/corporate plans.
More than just price alone, respondents to the survey noted that these plans offer greater price transparency, innovation and were easier to do business with – thus creating a sticky customer. With the advent of insurance exchanges, in theory the overall price to have insurance is supposed to go down which means insurance providers will have to compete to win business based on other factors like customer service and features. So far, provider-led plans are winning on these factors.
Accenture notes that insurers overall, and more specifically provider-led insurance plans rely on analytics that use aggregate patient data to craft a better experience and make new products that reflect the interests of consumers. 74% of those who responded to the survey said that knowing the cost of care upfront made them more likely to promote their insurance plans. 50% of those surveyed who had provider-led plans said they were satisfied with knowing the price of their care, figures which are outpacing the Blues and other private insurance providers.
CivSource has reported on a growing trend in state legislatures to examine price transparency legislation for health care providers. Some providers have already taken it upon themselves to start advertising the full cost of services, insurance plans that also do this empower consumers to make choices that cut costs and the risk of defaulting on repayment. The Accenture survey notes that continued innovation in these areas will help insurers retain policyholders.