Empowering choice through member level benefits is not about offering endless choices – it’s about finding the right choices for each member. Like Spotify’s algorithm, the ability to guide people to their best option depends on the strategic use of technology. Payers too can offer more choices and effectively sell customized products.
Think about car buying. Manufacturers like Honda have created shopping experiences where customers can build their own custom vehicles online. The build process includes selecting a base model (car, SUV, minivan, etc…) and then depending on that selection the customer is presented with the allowed powertrains, colors, and accessories. This simple and visual experience guides the customer through the process of selecting specifications while updating pricing along the way. It happens automatically and the process is seamless to the customer.
As health insurance heads in the direction of “products of one”, what can we do to accelerate the sales process? How can members and accounts choose their own adventure from a base of choices, add on custom requests, and receive a quote in a matter of minutes instead of weeks? Imagine a health insurance shopping experience where pricing is delivered instantly, giving customers point-of-sale choices like they receive from other industries. Large groups could do this either on Zoom or in-person with your broker and eventually the individual member could do this online. While we may not be able to turn around a price instantaneously like Honda, technology can bring us closer.
Member level benefits aren’t that far out of reach. The technology exists today. It just needs a shift in mindset to capitalize on its full potential. With technology that organizes data and makes it accessible while providing a higher level of process automation, flexibility, and scalability, sales teams and brokers can create best-fit plans which can then be customized within predefined limits. Large groups, and eventually individual members, could effectively build their own health plan based on their specific needs and budget. Just like Honda’s online experience enables customers to design a customized car on the spot, payers can provide personalized health insurance at the point-of-sale.
Creating a “product of one” may be futuristic for now, but we are headed in that direction. It won’t happen with the flip of a switch but beginning with greater choices at the foundational account level with large group employers will help payers to keep up with future trends and achieve an individualized product over time.
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