Health insurance and mobile engagement: What's working, what's new and what's next [Special Report]


With the rise of consumerism in healthcare, the imperative has never been greater for insurers to find innovative ways to engage with their customers.

This is especially true now that the Affordable Care Act has created a humming individual market, putting an unprecedented amount of power in consumers' hands when it comes to choosing and using their health insurance. To keep up, insurers have found they must double down on efforts to keep consumers informed about their plan choices as well as how to access care and pursue their health goals.

Companies seeking to improve consumer engagement have one major ally: the rise of mobile technology. Phone and tablet-based applications allow insurers to reach consumers on the devices they use every day, providing services for their members with the simplicity of a tap or click.

In fact, 74 percent of respondents in a recent survey from IntelliResponse say they would be open to using a mobile app or mobile website if their insurer provided that option, and 42 percent feel it's an important feature.

That's not a surprise given the fact that 68 percent of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45 percent among adults, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

In this special report, FierceHealthPayer examines the myriad ways insurers and other organizations engage consumers through mobile technology, assessing the benefits and challenges--as well as what lies ahead.