Health Plans Grow Individual Insurance Market


Along with healthcare reform, and the rise of consumer-drive healthcare, health plans are now facing the challenge of reaching individuals in addition to traditional employer groups. 

This leaves many asking how they can differentiate from competitors to attract and retain market share.

In a post on the Microsoft Health blog, Microsoft U.S. Health Plan National Director, Sam Robinson, outlines how one such health plan adapted to reach this new, viable health consumer market.

Delta Dental of Missouri (DDMO) had, in the past, marketed to more than 1,800 companies in Missouri and South Carolina. However they recognized the need to capture the individual dental health market as well, which meant changing their business model from a business-to-business design to a business-to-consumer model, a relatively new concept for most health plans. They knew they needed to engage online to interact with consumers researching, and buying their services.

DDMO worked with West Monroe Partners (WMP), who used Microsoft cloud software to create a custom e-commerce website. The site allows consumers to compare products and purchase individual dental plans from DDMO. Supporting the entire sales lifecycle, this website has created a powerful consumer engagement tool for the individual market that:

  • – Builds brand awareness
  • – Educates the potential member about available options and the benefits of dental insurance
  • – Drives optimal conversion rates
  • – Enrolls members once they have purchased a plan—with no manual intervention
  • – Predicts customer needs and responds to recent trends
  • – Provides an engaging, one-stop shopping experience that’s a competitive differentiator
  • – Aligns business processes to support the customer

Because the site uses cloud-based technology, DDMO and WMP were able to get it up and running in only 8 months. The site also fully integrates with claims systems, financial systems, member portal, and PCI-compliant card processing services.

As the industry continues to evolve, more health plans will surely see the potential of the individual market and create similar consumer-centric websites.

Read the complete post on the Microsoft Health blog here.

Sam Robinson is the National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, with Microsoft Health and Life Sciences. Robinson is also a member of the Healthcare Trends Institute Editorial Advisory Board.


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