March 2019 – Is This Not Why You Are Here?: Unassisted Public and Member Site Search

Prospective and current members visit firm websites to research products and locate providers as well as access account, plan and health information. Increasingly, the user experience is becoming one where audiences snack on information, skimming the first few lines of an online resource to grab query-related nuggets and transitioning to another source. Provided the size and disjointed design of health plan websites, the homepage and navigation menus do not always offer efficient routes to desired content. Advanced search engines have changed this by providing relevant links and altering users’ foraging methods.

This report analyzes the capabilities of the 15 Healthcare Monitor firms that offer search on either their public or member sites. Our review focuses on key aspects of a successful search tool—including findability and usability—as well as quality and accuracy of results. As public and member search tools serve varying purposes, we evaluate each tool separately before grading each firm’s overall search quality.

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