Health insurance consumers need clearer communication

survey health insurance consumer communication

Survey data shows consumers would prefer multi-channel communication with their health insurers.

According to research from Pitney Bowes, consumers say information from health insurers is often hard to understand. Communication from insurers needs to be more transparent as communication is a top concern of many consumers.

The survey of over 1,000 U.S. health insurance clients looks at the health insurance industry in the United States. An industry that is currently in upheaval as the country looks towards providing universal health care by 2014.

According to the results, 48 percent of participants prefer to receive billing and claims information through the mail rather than electronically. With more and more insurers moving towards electronic communication this might mean the eventual phasing out of paper correspondence is delayed. Insurance companies may see improvements in communications with clients if they adopt a multi-channel approach. Older consumers were more likely to respond well to the multi-channel than those under 35 years old.

Over three quarters (82%) of respondents say they trust their insurance company. Though the majority express trust they also reiterated the need for transparent communication. If communication is not clear it can lead to confusion which in turn could affect future coverage and business.

When asked what additional information they would like to receive from their insurers, 67 percent said ways to save money or money off coupons. This response was highest among 18-24 year olds. Nearly a half (41%) of respondents stated information on ways to improve the health of their family would be most helpful.

From the data it seems clear, while the majority of people trust their insurers many have concerns about clarity of communication. Health insurance is often cited as one of the least understood protection products, while cost is a concern for many consumers, insurers can improve services by ensuring a multi-channel communication system.