One in two U.S. consumers told Aflac that enrolling in health insurance should feel like an experience on Amazon.

But health consumers still lack that high benchmark retail experience with health plans, based on new research published in HealthMine’s 2017 Health Intelligence Report focusing on communication and digital healthcare tools.

“Most members believe health plan communications are impersonal and centered around bills rather than healthcare guidance,” HealthMine asserts in the introduction to the report.

That’s about as un-Amazon as we can imagine.


Top findings from HealthMine’s research are that:

  • 3 in 4 consumers don’t think their health insurance plan understands their personal health very well
  • 60% of people want more communication from health plan sponsors beyond bills
  • One-half of consumers with chronic conditions hear from their health plans at most once a year
  • Two-thirds of health plan members aren’t connected to their plans on social media, but the majority of whose following health plans on social media believe it’s helpful to do so
  • Only 1 in 5 insured people use their health plan portals, and among those, only 30% say the portals are helpful
  • 83% of consumers use digital health tools, but only 1 in 5 of these people say plans use the data to help them manage their health (illustrated in the second chart).

This last data point embodies a huge lost opportunity for health plans: to partner with patients in helping them manage chronic conditions, which is a substantial portion of a plan’s medical spending. 75% of health plan members do not receive reminders or recommendations about their chronic conditions.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  What if…a health plan closed the gap leveraging digital tools consumers already use [social networks, mobile apps, search engines] to partner with patients to help them manage their health? What level of loyalty might that inspire?

Check out the latest 2017 Brand Keys Loyalty results out this week. The top ten brands this year include:

  1. Amazon (online retail)
  2. Google (search engines)
  3. Apple (tablets)
  4. Netflix (video streaming)
  5. Apple (smartphones)
  6. Amazon (video streaming)
  7. Samsung (smartphones)
  8. Facebook (social networking)
  9. Amazon (tablets)
  10. YouTube (social networking).

So Amazon garnered 3 of the top 10 spots, followed by Apple.

Healthcare industry, heads up: every one of these brands does health, and plans to grow their health/care footprint.