If you spend time with health insurance companies there is a lot of discussion about the impact that mobile and social will have on their business ranging from how they market to how they empower consumers to better manage their health. These discussions are not just tactical. They strike at the heart of the transformation that health insurance companies are making to stay competitive, relevant, and attractive for the consumer who is ever more confused, skeptical and apathetic but increasingly powerful. Which health insurance companies are making the early investments in consumer engagement? The EveryMove 100 Health Insurance Index™ launched today to dive into that conversation.
The EveryMove 100 is a list of the top 100 health insurance companies that are making significant strides in engaging with consumers to help them take better control of their health as a partner in health versus just a processor of medical claims. The intent here is to extend the influence of the consumer as they wade into new territory as individually empowered decision makers, whether through state, federal or employer exchanges. The Index evaluated over 50 data elements and over 300 health insurance companies to determine the ranking.
The five primary categories the Index evaluated included:
- Social media presence and interactions (breadth and depth of engagement)
- Mobile investments (mobile web and app ecosystem)
- Website statistics (popularity ranking, refreshed content)
- Customer support access (availability/ease of access)
- Current consumer satisfaction (what are current members saying)
As you can see this is not an index designed to pass judgment on the quality of the network, timeliness of paying claims, care management efficacy, or other operational metrics. Plenty of other rankings will provide that insight and they are important. The EveryMove 100 is about which health insurance companies are making the investments to win the hearts and minds of the consumer who is going to look for a health insurance partner that makes them feel connected, important, and part of the solution.
Some of the top health insurance companies in the index include Capital District Physicians Health Plan (CDPHP) in New York, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona and Independence Blue Cross out of Philadelphia. These companies range in size but they are all interacting with the consumer in unique ways. It’s not just about the number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans but rather the level of interaction in those conversations. It’s not just about whether they offer mobile access but does their mobile service provide the content consumers want on the go? It’s not just about encouraging consumers to live a healthy lifestyle but does the health insurance company offer programs that actually reward those actions?
We are presenting the first version of the EveryMove 100 and we will continue to update it and advance the rigor of the Index as we acquire more inputs. Step one is starting the conversation. To insure that we are taking a critical eye to our inputs we have an esteemed initial group of advisors guiding us. Initial advisors include: Matthew Holt (Co-Chairman of Health 2.0 and Founder/Publisher of the Health Care Blog), Aman Bhandari (former Advisor to the US Chief Technology Officer at the White House for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation), and Garrison Bliss, MD, Founder a Qliance. The advisory council will continue to expand and will be vital to establishing the utility of the EveryMove 100 for the health insurance industry.
For those health insurance companies that see their strategy as being inextricably tied to consumer engagement, here are a few easy steps they can take to improve their ranking:
- Invest in social media – Of course setting up accounts is free but hiring a dedicated social media manager, one who is responsible for both monitoring and driving dialogue, is important. Build a roadmap of campaigns that amplifies your investment in tools, incentives and sponsorships and aligns with your broader traditional media (Check out this commercial from Volkswagen that went viral on YouTube). For many consumers this will be their primary vehicle to learn about you.
- Make sure your website clearly amplifies your tools and services. Unfortunately many insurance company websites require consumers to dig for actionable consumer engagement services. That has not been the bread and butter of the message historically. Make it clear what you offer the consumer and do it in a way that inspires action, not just information.
- Embrace mobile – Only 26% of the health insurance companies we evaluated had mobile friendly visitor websites. Forgetting about apps for a second, just conform your website to the mobile screen, which is a strong signal that you are building to meet the consumer on their terms.
Many of these actions will appeal to the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) who represent 30% of the Exchange eligible individuals. Smartphone penetration is high, social media is part of their everyday life, and they tend to favor brands that have a strong Facebook and social presence.
Health insurance companies often use the phrase, “Meet the consumer where they are at”. The EveryMove 100 is designed to advance that conversation and provide health insurance companies with a new lens on how to measure their effectiveness toward that goal.
Russell Benaroya is the co-founder and CEO of EveryMove, a rewards plan that helps consumers turn their active lifestyles into rewards from their health insurance company. Russell is an expert on the consumerism of health care and speaks frequently on the topic. You can read a recent article, “Succeeding in the New Health Care Market”. You can also download a pdf of the EveryMove 100 Health Insurance Index.