What’s to come for the consumer-centric insurance industry?

By , Fierce Health Player

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As the healthcare insurance landscape continues to evolve, payers should shift toward customer-centric models to adopt and retain their members, according to a new report from College for America.

With changes under the healthcare reform law, insurance companies will either adapt or fall off the grid. For example, accountable care organizations and health insurance exchanges are transforming the healthcare game and will continually raise competition, according to the report.

Payers should understand that customers require more personalized services, reduced risk, engaging conversations and information available online and in-person, finds College for America. To meet real-time customer expectations, insurers should implement new customer relationship management tools that use email, online chat and click-to-call voice to ensure customers have access to pertinent information, according to the report.

Online consumers want access to information, which payers can provide through customer engagement platforms. Such platforms will help insurers meet member demands for physician rating tools, regional health trends and personal health records, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Insurers also can launch mobile platforms, which can set medication reminders and alert members to gaps in meeting activity goals, to win over healthcare consumers.

So as insurers adapt to new consumer expectations, the report highlights certain workforce skills that will enable long-term progress, such as established communication with people outside the company and the ability to access information.

What’s more, the health exchanges are a perfect example of things to come in a consumer-centric insurance industry. They “will create more transparency and make the coverage-selection experience resemble purchasing airline tickets on Expedia or Orbitz,” Robert Pearl M.D., a contributor to Forbes, said in the report.

To learn more download the free report.