Easy answers. Quality and price transparency. Cost savings. These should be goals for any consumer experience, including ones in which people need to access health care services.
That’s why they are among the guiding principles for the digital health resources and plans UnitedHealthcare offers employers and individuals.
“We want to make it easier for people to use their health benefits,” says Samantha Baker, chief consumer officer for the UnitedHealthcare commercial business. “By doing so, our goal is to help people get or stay well, while making the health care system work better for everyone.”
One way this is being accomplished is by making information available on the UnitedHealthcare website, app and through our customer care advocates — and personalizing it for each member. It starts with a custom set of tools for enrolling in a plan and continues with plan-specific answers to questions that may follow.
“On myuhc.com, search results are tailored to the member who’s logged in,” Samantha said. “For example, if I search for help with back pain, I will see the options that are part of my benefits. My results may be different than yours, based on our health plans and specific needs.”
These digital resources are increasing overall transparency and making it easier to compare care quality and costs. Samantha says, if questions remain, members can call or chat with advocate advisors who have increased insight into each caller’s benefits and who can help with suggestions on next steps.
Three more ways health care is being personalized
Rapidly expanding virtual care
Virtual care, also called telehealth, has moved beyond delivering care to people who are sick to helping detect and avoid illness with preventive care. This type of remote care is proving to be a more popular, convenient and effective way for many people to access a range of services, including urgent, primary, behavioral and specialty care.
To help make virtual care even more accessible, millions of eligible UnitedHealthcare fully insured members currently can use 24/7 Virtual Visits without cost sharing, effectively waiving deductibles and copays for the treatment of everything from the flu, rashes, allergies and more.
Additional help to avoid surprise bills
Integrated technology is helping flag issues that, in the past, may have resulted in surprise bills or lead to higher health care costs. Real-time cost estimates and price-comparison tools that include member-specific information are helping increase transparency and avoid unexpected charges.
For millions of UnitedHealthcare members, our Find & Price Care capability provides access to cost information for more than 19,000 services, spanning medical, dental, vision and behavioral health treatments. In the event of a surprise bill, some health plans offer access to resolution support to help negotiate on behalf of members with hospitals and care providers. If you receive a surprise bill, call the number on the back of your insurance ID card to alert your insurer and check on assistance.
More digital fitness options
Eligible members may be able to cash in with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Rewards, a leading consumer engagement program that offers incentives of $300 per year – or up to $1,0001 a year if your employer buys up to that option – by completing various daily health goals and one-time activities. The program provides flexibility in how members can earn and redeem their incentives, including qualifying activities such as achieving 5,000 steps or more each day, tracking sleep for 14 nights, completing a health survey or annual wellness exam and more.
UHC Rewards enables members to earn health-related incentives that can be added to a pre-paid debit card2 or deposited into a health savings account (HSA) — unlike some other programs that may only offer virtual coins. Members can spend their incentives virtually anywhere, use them to offset medical expenses or pay toward the cost of a wearable device or monthly gym subscription.
“We recognize that people want accurate and quick information so they can make decisions, get updates and move on with their day,” Samantha said. “We are working to help people find the highest quality health care services at a more affordable cost and tap into new ways to get or stay fit — simply and quickly.”