Meeting consumers where they are with a more seamless digital experience in health care

UnitedHealthcare Chief Consumer Officer Samantha Baker shares how health care is evolving to offer a digital-first experience.

By Samantha Baker, Chief Consumer Officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual

Consumer expectations around digital experiences are higher than ever. Whether shopping for groceries or planning their next trip, consumers are looking for ease, convenience and simplicity. They also want a seamless and tailored digital experience, especially for something as personal as health care.

That’s why I’m focused on our consumer experience from end-to-end to help ensure it’s as simple and easy as possible for our members to navigate their health benefits and care when they need it. I sat down with Hans Hage, chief product officer of consumer operations for UnitedHealthcare, to share how our teams are helping provide employees with a simpler health care experience. 

Delivering a digital-first health care experience

Helping employees navigate health care

Every day, we come to work looking for ways to remove the burden from our members and help make it easier for them to navigate their health journey. We know health care is incredibly complex and that many employees struggle to understand the plan and benefits their employer offers, asking questions like:

  • Which provider or specialist should I see?
  • What programs are available to me?
  • How much is my provider visit, treatment, procedure or prescription going to cost? 

When employees come to® or the UnitedHealthcare® app, we want them to be able to automatically and more seamlessly find the answers they’re seeking.

For example, the Find Care & Costs tool allows employees to schedule an appointment with a provider and view the estimated cost upfront. We’re also focused on making it easier for employees to understand and manage their prescriptions. This includes showing members what medications are covered and allowing them to order and track their prescriptions directly through our website or app.

Keeping employees engaged

The digital experience we want to provide goes beyond ease and simplicity. Our goal is for members to stay engaged in their health and well-being, which may lead to better health outcomes and lower costs.

Take UnitedHealthcare Rewards (UHC Rewards) as an example — a program in which employees are incentivized for achieving certain daily goals or completing one-time activities. By integrating this program into and the UnitedHealthcare app, we are making it easier for employees to use and engage with our mobile experience more consistently. In fact, those who participated in our UHC Rewards program accounted for more than double the visits to the UnitedHealthcare app and tended to stay on the app longer.1

  • 2.2x more app visits among UHC Rewards visitors than non-UHC Rewards visitors1
  • ~32 more minutes spent on the UnitedHealthcare app among UHC Rewards visitors than non-Rewards visitors1  

Not only are we making it easier for employees to access programs like UHC Rewards, we are also bringing in more of the features and functionality employees have come to expect from other consumer digital experiences, such as the ability to pay for certain health services directly from the app.

Working alongside employers to provide a personalized and supportive consumer experience for all employees

While the majority of today’s generation prefers to engage with us digitally, we understand that’s not the case for everyone or every situation.

We will continue to work with employers to understand how to best support their employees’ needs — and the role that digital plays or doesn’t play. Our advocates can step in and provide the 1-on-1 human support that some members really want and value. That sort of highly personalized support will continue to play a role in our consumer experience even with all the advances we are making digitally. 

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