Corporate Insight (CI) tracks the digital user experience offered by health insurers. As part of our research, CI conducted a healthcare UX survey of over 1,900 health plan members in June 2021 to understand behaviors and preferences. We compared our 2021 survey results to our previous survey from November 2019 to identity any trends or key differences in members’ usage or behaviors. Comparative analysis from our surveys of health plan members in November 2019 and June 2021 (subscription required) suggest that the digital preferences of Gen Zers and Millennials diverge from those of their older counterparts. The youngest and oldest generational groups experienced the most drastic change in behaviors from 2019 to 2021.

In examining member’s preferences, habits and levels of satisfaction with health insurance UX, we find that Millennials show the most parity in their preference, use, satisfaction and importance of digital features. Usage rates since 2019 increased slightly across web and mobile activities. Coverage details, health information, claims, prescriptions and pharmacy still rank as the as most important digital health insurance UX areas.

Comparing our findings with our 2019 survey, we found that importance in prescriptions, pharmacy and digital care platforms as major site features grew significantly. Importance in website design and usability also increased across all groups since 2019. Firms must continue to provide well-designed experiences with an emphasis on the usability, navigation and accessibility features that are now standard across healthcare, retail and financial services experiences.

This chart shows the importance of website and app prescription and pharmacy-related features

With firms consistently introducing and gradually improving web features, users now expect those same capabilities to translate to mobile. Users are placing higher importance on mobile features, which shows a significant increase in importance across all groups since 2019. Over the last few years, we have seen several Health Plan Monitor firms introduce more security measures to their app login experiences, such as two-factor authentication (30% of coverage set), touch ID login (85% of coverage set) and face ID login (85% of coverage set). Our survey data shows that most mobile respondents (73%) also found multi-factor authentication for app login to be “very” or “extremely” important.
This image shows the importance of member website and app design and usability features

Overall importance and satisfaction are high with health insurer digital properties; however, awareness of initiatives during COVID-19 are low

Users ranked mobile app importance higher than website importance. And when delving into major experience features, mobile users found most categories more important than web users, specifically when it comes to plan servicing and digital care. Coverage and health information ranked equally as important on the mobile app (84%) as on the website, indicating the strong need for account information across any digital property.

While respondents showed high satisfaction in their insurer’s response to COVID-19, only 22% of participants were aware that their insurer adopted new or expanded coverage policies in response to the pandemic. About a third of respondents indicated that they are not aware of any changes in response to the pandemic.

This chart shows user awareness of policies implemented by insurer in response to COVID 19Health Plan Monitor research over the past two years shows that the most common COVID-19 response from insurers includes expanded coverage and benefits, with firms providing a centralized, easily findable public COVID-19 Resource Center or microsite. Anthem BCBS was one of the strongest responders to the initial COVID-19 wave by allowing users to stay educated with up-to-date details, tools and resources as the pandemic and its circumstances evolved. These firms also heavily promoted their resource centers throughout the pandemic, promoting through links, alerts, homepage sections, member site sections, and so on. Firms should look to establish promotion campaigns across email, U.S. mail, social media and other channels to notify members of crucial changes to coverage and benefits.

This screenshot shows Anthem BCBS's public COVID-19 resource center
Anthem BCBS Public COVID-19 Resource Center

Learn more about how members engage with digital healthcare and best practices for improving the member digital experience

To learn more from our healthcare UX survey, including digital features most important to and most used by health plan members, user satisfaction with insurers’ digital offerings, and best-in-class examples of recent developments to the health plan member digital experience, sign up for our upcoming webinar.