UnitedHealthcare improves, broadens reach of digital tools ahead of open enrollment

Improved features include interactive data analytics, digital onboarding, point of care prescription information, and personalized videos explaining claims.
By Jonah Comstock
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As open enrollment season begins, UnitedHealthcare has made updates to a slew of digital resources designed to provide employers insight on their employees’ health, as well as encourage those employees to better apply their health benefits.

These include: Health Plan Manager, an interactive analytics tool for self-funded health plans; Digital Onboarding, an online plan enrollment system; PreCheck MyScript, a tool integrated into existing EHR platforms that allows patients and providers to view medication costs; and Personalized Claims Videos, a system that offers bespoke video explanations of benefits and medical bills.

“Employers and employees want a more simplified and personalized health care experience, starting from plan enrollment and continuing throughout the person’s journey toward better health,” Rebecca Madsen, UnitedHealthcare chief consumer officer, said in a statement. “UnitedHealthcare invests more than $3 billion annually in data, technology and innovation to help our customers and plan participants better understand and make the most of their health benefits, improve their health and wellbeing and reduce their health care costs.”

Why it matters

As payers compete on the Affordable Care Act’s open markets, they’re looking for new ways to differentiate beyond rates and coverage. UnitedHealthcare is turning to digital tools improve the open enrollment experience for both members and employer customers.

What’s the trend

Most of these tools have been around in some form for a while now. But in preparation for this open enrollment season, UnitedHealthcare has enhanced some resources and made others much more widely available.

Health Plan Manager, for instance, has previously been used internally by UnitedHealthcare’s account management team, who then discussed the results with the employer. Now the company has launched an employer-facing version of the tool, available to employers with self-funded health plans and 100 or more employees.

The tool lets employers analyze their data to see what services or health conditions are costing them the most money, then implement engagement strategies, educational campaigns and clinical management changes to address those areas.

Digital Onboarding has been enhanced to support mid-year enrollment for new hires or those with qualifying life events. It also supports more third-party insurance products and adds information about prescription drug coverage.

PreCheck MyScript lets doctors and patients see medication costs and obtain prior authorization while still at the doctor’s office. The in-the-moment information helps doctors and patients to select lower-cost drugs where appropriate. The reach of the app is expanding to include 20,000 additional providers, with a goal to reach 80 percent of United Healthcare networked physicians who e-prescribe by the end of 2019.

Finally, United Healthcare has rolled out its , which break down costs of care and insurance processes after a claim for a covered medical service, nationwide.