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Study: Mobile Apps Lead to Health Plan Satisfaction

March 11, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Individuals who have contacted their health plan via a mobile app are more satisfied with their plans than those who have not used the technology, according to a survey from J.D. Power, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based information services firm.

It’s been a rough year regarding news around health insurance, but member satisfaction of health plans is improving, according to the survey. Specifically, member satisfaction is 108 points higher (on a 1,000 point scale) among members who have contacted their plan via mobile app at least once in the past 12 months than among those who haven't. While members under 40 years old contact their plan via text and mobile app at a significantly higher rate than older members, the telephone is still the most frequently used contact method across all age cohorts.

The study measured satisfaction among members of 134 health plans in 18 regions throughout the U.S. by examining six key factors: coverage and benefits; provider choice; information and communication; claims processing; cost; and customer service. Overall, member satisfaction averages 679, which is a 10 point improvement from 2014. The increase in satisfaction is driven by improved performance across all factors, most notably in information and communication (+17 points), which is primarily a result of efforts among many of the health plans to retool their approach by refining messaging, adjusting message frequency and upgrading their website. Satisfaction in the customer service factor has increased by 11 points, driven partially by matching communication methods to member preferences, such as mobile and text, the research found.

"Health plans need to take a more customer-centric approach and keep their members engaged through regular communications about programs and services available through their plan. When members perceive their plan as a trusted health partner, there is a positive impact on loyalty and advocacy, " Rick Johnson, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power, said in a statement.

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