Health Insurance Exchanges Struggle To Charm Customers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Cloud computing
News
12/16/2013
09:30 AM
50%
50%

Health Insurance Exchanges Struggle To Charm Customers

Up to 80% of consumers abandon their transactions on the checkout page, even on well-designed retail sites. How can healthcare exchanges learn from their mistakes?

McCaig says that if people are intent on buying something they "will just wrestle with it. If it takes three hours to do it, they'll just keep at it." Demand is high because there are so many uninsured people in the United States, he said, "but the experience doesn't leave a nice taste in people's mouths … Some very simple best practices (and knowing how consumers) use the sites, will optimize the experience."

Another company that evaluates user behavior on websites, UserTesting.com, using different benchmarks, found HealthCare.gov has made significant improvements in its design. The company engaged ConversionMax to evaluate HealthCare.gov in early November.

As ConversionMax chief marketing officer Theresa Baiocco saw the site, it appeared that HealthCare.gov's designers didn't fully consider all the different types of users coming to the site, and what they were trying to accomplish.

"It's an attractive site, laid out nicely; they did a lot of things right," she said. But developing models for the user experience involves understanding the different types of people who will use the site and "defining ... what they're trying to accomplish. You might have five user types; [it] seems like that's missing."

E-commerce sites commit the common mistake, she says, of designing a website with a mindset of "we want people to apply immediately, and that's what we're aiming for." HealthCare.gov was "not intuitive at all; visitors [had] to stop and think way too much."

UserTesting.com was so struck by ConversionMax's findings, it re-evaluated HealthCare.gov two more times -- at the end of November and on Dec. 9 -- and noted these improvements:

  • In making it easy for visitors to find eligible plans, HealthCare.gov's score improved 26%, to 4.5 on a 5-point scale;
  • In making the application process easy, the site's score improved 31%, from 2.9 to 3.8;
  • In making it easy to find needed information on the website, HealthCare.gov improved 30%, to 3.8.

Patience Wait is a Washington-based reporter who covers government IT for InformationWeek. 

Mobile, cloud, and BYOD blur the lines between work and home, forcing IT to envision a new identity and access management strategy. Also in the Future Of Identity issue of InformationWeek: Threats to smart grids are far worse than generally believed, but tools and resources are available to protect them. (Free registration required.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 7:02:31 PM
Customer satisfaction
One benchmark for comparing customer satisfaction is the quarterly surveys by Foresee for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Satisfaction Index,

It reports: In the functional categories, government e-commerce and transactional sites (with the latest quarter's score at 79) still lags the private sector, but only slightly (81.1), but the government outperforms the private sector in e-business (portals, search engines, and news and information sites), which slid to 71.3 in a July report. 

http://www.foreseeresults.com/news-events/press-releases/egov-q2-2013-foresee.shtml

 
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 11:48:58 AM
Alternatives are good
For those who couldn't get health insurance at all before (or only a plan excluding coverage for their preexisting conditions), the exchanges and the legal framework around them are a godsend. This may not be the right answer for everyone, but for those who really need coverage the technical and usability issues are a mere annoyance, not a fatal flaw.

Still, there's no reason the exchanges can't provide a more positive experience. The launch of HealthCare.gov reminds me of this Terry Gilliam satire about the welfare state 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=167IhlXnN2Y
jvanbeek
50%
50%
jvanbeek,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2013 | 2:11:35 PM
product
More important than the website is the product. The best website in the world is going to have trouble selling a bad product that is over-priced with restricted provider networks and high deductibles!
Slideshows
10 RPA Vendors to Watch
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  8/20/2019
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Digital Transformation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  8/13/2019
Slideshows
IT Careers: How to Get a Job as a Site Reliability Engineer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/31/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll