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Health insurer dedicates IT group to work with Digital Experience team

John Dix | June 28, 2016
Collaborative effort speeds digital innovation at HealthNow New York

Let's turn to some examples of where you're making a difference.  

One of the ways we measure success is return on investment.  Are we affecting the bottom line, either helping increase revenue or helping reduce expenses?  Actually, many of the projects we've done have helped with both of those.  A good example is moving a lot of our traditionally paper oriented documents to paperless. Believe it or not a lot of health insurance documents are still mailed to people.  So last year we focused on getting more of our population to receive explanation of benefits (EOBs) electronically, and we moved the needle significantly.  In the last 18 months it has increased 187%, which saves a ton of money.  And an area where we've grown revenue is using email notifications during open enrolment to get new members and to retain existing members, and we had an amazing conversion rate of 34%.

How about any digital programs targeted at the health of the insured?

We have specific health and wellness platforms and content on our website.  You can take your Health Risk Assessment (HRA) online and then keep track of your progress, your nutritional information, your exercise information, how much water you drink each day, etc. We integrate with a lot of wearable devices, whether it be Fitbit, Jawbone, things of that nature.  We're really trying to incorporate a lot of the things that our members are already doing and have it live on their member portal and their dashboard so they can view it while they're in there tending to their regular insurance needs, viewing a claim, things like that.  They can have all that at their fingertips.

Is there any monetary benefit in it for them?

If someone completes the Health Risk Assessment and goes through a biometric screening in person with one of our health coaches, if their employer has it spelled out in their contract, they can incentivize employees by offering a discounted premium or by lowering the deductible.  Or there could be some sort of gift card or cash reward as well. 

We also offer our HealthyLife Rewards program, which is a digital program we launched in Albany under the Blue Shield brand that creates nutrition incentives for members.  They can earn up to $500 each year based on the grocery items they purchase.  When they choose the healthiest items they get incentives and cash back rewards.

That's been pretty successful for us.  We partnered with NutriSavings on that and we launched it in January and in just a few short months we've seen a 10% adoption rate over 400 different employer groups.  So we've had really good success with that.


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