Repeal and Replace: Impact on Health Insurers and their Digital Strategy
2017 will prove to be a year of change. President Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but what will come to fruition is still yet to be determined. Lawmakers, regulatory agencies, advocacy groups and consumers will all play a role in what finally takes shape. What does this mean for health insurers? How can you prepare? And what does this mean to your existing Digital Strategy?
Significant changes have transpired in the 6 years since the ACA went into practice. Health insurers have created much more consumer-focused web sites, transitioned to more efficient digital footprints, improved transparency and are sharing more information digitally than ever before. Enabling more digital self-service capabilities has improved engagement and lowered the high cost of supporting call centers. Regardless of changes to the existing health insurance laws, much of this will not change – these are still effective ways to lower costs and improve prospect and member engagement. However, the potential policy changes will impact your consumers and you need to be prepared to communicate effectively to them through the right channels.
Consider the following strategies during this transitional time:
- Focus on education: provide up to date information to your members, helping them understand what options are available and the benefits of new products as they are developed under the new policy guidelines.
- Enhance online interactive and advanced plan comparison and shopping tools: as more options arise with integrated health savings accounts, plan types, and build-a-plan products, it will be important to help customers find the right plan that fits their needs
- Continue to provide transparency: provider pricing transparency is just beginning to take shape. Continue with these efforts by integrating provider finder and cost estimating tools in your digital offerings
- Upgrade the underlying infrastructure: If your digital platform is outdated, it will become increasingly difficult to react to the constant change that will continue to be the norm over the next few years. As plan complexity increases, policies change, and information needs become even more real-time, it will be critical that your technology is flexible and adaptable to enable the right people to update the content and integrate with backend systems for the right data at the right time.
As the new presidential administration unfolds, the key will be helping consumers understand the change and having the flexibility to react quickly on the digital forefront. Are you ready?