Aetna, UnitedHealth, Humana, Cigna, Anthem, Oscar Health, and Clover Health are giants in the US health insurance market. But this isn’t the only thing they have in common. Another commonality is that they’ve all developed an app. But is an insurance app just a whim that your company can do without? Or does an app have the potential to solve real-life problems?
An insurance app offers a convenient way for customers to:
- Get insurance and receive coverage while letting you avoid excess paperwork.
- Find a plan that meets their needs.
- Find a doctor in their insurance network.
Today, an app for an insurance business is a must, not a luxury. Read on to learn about the health and medical insurance market, must-have features for an app, and top insurance apps.
Understanding your market potential is a key component of making strategic decisions about marketing as well as product development and distribution. We’ve analyzed a bunch of reports and statistics and collected key points on the health insurance industry. Here’s what we’ve found:
- The largest contributor to the growth of the health insurance market is medical insurance. (Source: Allied Market Research)
- The United States has the world’s largest health and medical insurance market, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% through 2024. (Source: Mordor Intelligence)
- Total revenue for the US health and medical insurance market in 2019 is estimated at $1 trillion. Overall, the annual growth rate of this market was about 7% from 2014 to 2019. (Source: IBISWorld)
- The number of uninsured people in the US decreased from 48.6 million in 2010 to 30.4 million in 2018. (Source: Statista)
- In 2018, the biggest US insurers were UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Humana, Health Care Service Corporation, and Centene Corporation. (Source: Statista)
Real-world examples are the perfect place to look in drawing up a list of key features to include in your health insurance app.
Aetna is a US company that sells medical, dental, pharmaceutical, long-term care, disability, behavioral health plans, and other insurance plans. As of 2019, Aetna had around 50,000 employees and 22 million members all over the US.
What users can do with Aetna Health:
- Find doctors, medical centers, and pharmacies
- Refill medications
- Check plan benefits and coverage information
- Access insurance ID cards
- Estimate out-of-pocket expenses
- View, sort, track, and pay claims
Health4Me is a mobile app developed by UnitedHealthcare, a daughter company of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealthcare became an independent business segment in 1998. Now the company has around 300,000 employees and is ranked first among its competitors. In July 2019, UnitedHealthcare’s yearly revenue reached $240 billion. They sell dental, vision, and insurance plans.
What users can do with Health4Me:
- Access virtual ID cards
- Manage health insurance information
- Check the status of claims and account balances
- Estimate medical and drug costs
- Find doctors, clinics, and urgent care centers
- Contact a nurse
- Manage prescriptions
- Compare prices for medications
To reach a wider audience, Health4Me decided to create a new feature called GlobalMe. Using the GlobalMe icon, users can:
- Get information about local healthcare systems, disease precautions, and terrorism threats
- Search for doctors and filter search results by specialty and location
- Find direct pay physicians or apply for new payment agreements
- Get referrals to trusted doctors plus assistance with replacing lost passports and medical evacuations
Founded in 1792, Cigna was the first marine insurance company in the United States. Today, Cigna’s over 74,000 employees deal with more than 165 million customers, 68,000 contracted pharmacies, and 1 million clinics and healthcare providers. Cigna has created five health insurance mobile apps to cover everything needed to effectively manage health and safety:
- myCigna for managing health data on the go
- Cigna Compass as a guide to managing health
- Cigna Wellbeing to provide access to medical experts
- Cigna Envoy for access to health insurance data
- Cigna Health Benefits for access to health insurance data for customers in the Cigna Global Health Benefits group plan
What users can do with myCigna:
- Access ID cards with the ability to email, fax, and print them
- See claims
- View account balances and deductible expenses
- Refill prescriptions
- Compare costs of doctors’ visits and medications
- Search for healthcare providers
- Store biometrics like blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies, and medications
Humana began in the 1960s as a nursing home company. Soon, they became the biggest hospital operator in Kentucky and launched their own health insurance plans. In 2019, Humana generated revenue of almost $63 billion and is considered one of the largest insurance providers in the US.
What users can do with myHumana:
- Access plan information
- Access and fax ID cards
- Find a doctor, dentist, hospital, urgent care center, retail clinic, or pharmacy by specialty, provider, zip code, or region
- Review claims (status, summary, details)
- Keep track of deductibles
- Compare local prescription prices
The table below compares popular insurance apps by features.
|Check plan coverage||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Access ID cards||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Share ID cards||✔️||✔️|
|Check account balances||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Check out-of-pocket expenses||✔️|
|See and sort claims||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Search for healthcare providers||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Contact a healthcare provider||✔️||✔️|
|Estimate costs for doctors’ visits||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Get information about medications||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Compare drug price||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Find the closest pharmacy||✔️|
|Check and refill prescriptions||✔️||✔️|
|Store biometric data||✔️|
Features to include in your health insurance app
Now that you know what features the best health insurance apps include, let’s outline the set of features you may want to include in your app.
Choosing a health insurance plan is a challenging and a big decision. To make this process smooth and painless, you might create a small questionnaire to define users’ insurance needs and offer the perfect plan. This is exactly what Oscar does. Or you can provide information about available plans. Allow users to add plans to a comparison table or chart so they can quickly see their characteristics, features, and prices and decide what’s best for them. Take Aetna as an example. Aetna developed a separate app called PlanSelection so potential customers can compare available plans by cost and benefits using charts.
Once a user has chosen a plan, allow them to apply for it through the app. Members should be able to access their ID cards through the app. Also, make sure existing users can easily renew their insurance.
Let users see their medications, lab results, and health records in one place. Plus, if your app enables doctor–patient communication, make sure users can share their health records as well as medical documents with their doctors.
In the private insurance market, premiums are generally paid on a monthly basis. Provide users with different payment methods so they can choose whichever is more convenient for them.
Oscar, a US health maintenance organization (HMO), is a great example of a company that delivers not only mobile payments but multichannel payments. Oscar customers are given four ways to pay:
- Online via a debit card or checking account on the Oscar website
- In the mobile app with a checking account
- By phone by calling the concierge
- By check by mailing a check
The first three options can be used to set up for automatic payments.
Enable users to see the statuses of their claims. To mark statuses, you can use tags such as “waiting for review,” “in review,” and “completed.” myHumana provides users with the ability to view recent claims, including detailed information, statuses, and summaries. The same goes for Health4Me by UnitedHealthcare. Using this app, users can access their prescription and medical claims. Cigna Health Benefits takes this even further, allowing users to file a health insurance claim by taking a photo of a medical bill.
Another feature that the world’s leading insurance apps have is the ability to search for doctors and clinics. Enable different filters such as specialty and location so users can narrow down results. If you collaborate with pharmacies, let users search for pharmacies.
Users will appreciate the opportunity to contact a healthcare provider in real time, especially when they’re having difficulty accessing a clinic but need quick help. There are three common ways of enabling doctor–patient communications: video conferencing, voice calls, and messages. Health4Me lets users call a nurse. Oscar Health allows users to message and talk to a doctor over the phone.
Drug prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Let users compare prices for medications at their local pharmacies to find the best price.
Notify users of their claims statuses, insurance expiry dates, and upcoming appointments.
One of our recent insurance projects is called Immunity. Immunity is a US web service that helps users find the right health insurance plan. First, a user needs to choose the option/package they’re interested in: Medicare, dental coverage, prescription drug coverage, health insurance (under 65), life insurance, or final expenses. Then the platform defines a user’s insurance needs by asking several questions connected with location, age, gender, needs, and tobacco use. Once the user has answered those questions, they fill in a form by entering personal information such as first and last name, email address, and phone number so an agent can contact them and offer the best plans.
We spent 442 hours creating Immunity:
- UI design: 64 hours
- Business analysis: 23 hours
- Frontend development: 120 hours
- Backend development: 187 hours
- Testing: 40 hours
- DevOps: 8 hours
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