An Educated Patient With Financial Accountability
A recent Wall Street Journal article
highlights a strategy employers are using to manage rising healthcare costs: sharing more of the cost burden with employees. Benefit plans with higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers have been rising in popularity over the past few years in the employer-sponsored healthcare sector. Consumers considering new products on the state and federal insurance marketplaces will also find that their choices include plans with higher out-of-pocket costs. It is clear that American consumers will be taking on more of the cost burdens for their health care. The hope is that an educated consumer with financial accountability will take care of their health and make sound financial choices to manage it.
The question is: How do we get consumers to that state? Health plans and employers are looking at tools and services that will create more educated consumers. We need to support consumers as they navigate the healthcare maze and help them become engaged participants. Rather than our traditional point approach, where we engage at enrollment or when a treatment is needed, our industry needs to take a holistic view of the consumer and engage in ongoing and constant communication. We need to turn consumer health management into an everyday occurrence. New innovations in technology, consumer analytics learned from other industries, richer healthcare data, and improved analytics have put us in a better position to create more engaging consumer tools. Our next generation of tools must make healthcare a routine, easy, and intuitive part of every consumer’s day.
Vice President Market Planning and Strategy