As consumers take on more of the cost of their annual health care bill — which their employers paid for in the form of very comprehensive insurance previously — they’re demanding better information, better processes and better insight into what they get for those dollars. We call that health care consumerism.
Consumers are beginning to bring a perspective from interactions they have in other facets of their lives. Think experiences with retail, banking and financial services.
They also face significant economic realities, including greater exposure to health care costs, concerns about having enough money to send their children to college or having enough money to retire. Changing expectations combined with sobering economic realities and a big dose of technology makes for a significant shift in the underlying dynamics of the health care market. With the advent of consumerism, brokers must change elements of their solutions to provide value in this dynamic market.
Here are five factors that make being a “consumer” or “shopper” possible.
Online shopping (for anything) can make what used to be a time consuming task easy and convenient. Mobile app Instacartoffers grocery shopping services across a range of stores, including Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Your order is placed, a personal shopper takes care of it and it arrives (usually) in less than two hours. That’s less time than it would take you to do the same thing.
Not only has the music world changed with Apple iTunes and Spotify, but how we access it has changed as well. Shazaam is an app that identifies the music you hear playing and then enables you to purchase and download it onto your mobile device. When someone has created an experience that allows you to go from listening to owning without skipping a beat, that is seamless.
Nest may only seem like an attractive home thermostat, but don’t be fooled. In a week, Nest knows that you like your home cool at night for sleeping and warmer in the morning when you awaken. It knows that during the weekends you’ll want the temperature set differently than during the week. Like iTunes’ Genius, NetFlix or Amazon Recommendations, it is learning about you and using information to make your world better for YOU.
Edmunds fixes the imbalance of information between the buyer and the seller so purchasing cars becomes less painful. The buyer, knowing both cost and quality ratings of the vehicle, is able to weigh those two factors to create their own value equation.