Survey: Use of Insurers’ Mobile Apps Linked to Consumer Satisfaction

March 11, 2015 in News

Individuals who used mobile applications to connect with their health plans are more satisfied with their plans than those who have not used such technology, according to a J.D. Power survey released on Monday, MobiHealthNews reports.

Survey Details

The survey was administered to more than 30,000 individuals in 134 different health plans throughout the U.S. The plans’ patient satisfaction scores were calculated on a 1,000-point scale that considered:

  • Claims processing;
  • Cost;
  • Coverage and benefits;
  • Customer services;
  • Plan information and communication; and
  • Provider choice.

Survey Findings

According to the survey, customers who had interacted with their health plan via a mobile app at least once within the past 12 months reported being more satisfied with their plan than those who had not done so. Specifically, respondents who had used the mobile apps reported satisfaction ratings 108 points higher than those who had not. The survey noted that consumers under the age of 40 were more likely to use the mobile apps than older individuals.

However, the survey found that contacting health plans via telephone remained the most popular method of communication.

Overall, the survey noted that the health plans saw a 10-point increase, to 679 points, in consumer satisfaction from 2014. The increase was largely driven by a 17-point bump in the information and communication metric, which J.D. Power said “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[s]” (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 3/9).

According to the survey, satisfaction ratings in the information and communication metric increased across the metric’s four components:

  • Ease of understanding a health plan’s benefits and services, which increased from 6.2 to 6.4 on a 10-point scale;
  • Frequency of communication, which increased from 6.1 to 6.3 on a 10-point scale;
  • Usefulness of information, which increased from 6.2 to 6.4 on a 10-point scale; and
  • Variety of communication methods, which increased from 6.1 to 6.3 on a 10-point scale (J.D. Power survey, 3/9).

The overall increase in health plan satisfaction scores was also driven in part by an 11-point growth in customer service satisfaction, which included health plans’ additions of mobile and text customer service options (MobiHealthNews, 3/9).

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