Introducing the Smart Account – A New (and Better) Approach to CDH Account Solutions

Alegeus recently announced that we will deliver the market’s first app for managing health benefits, finances and care, known as the Smart Account Mobile App.

Sounds good, right? But, what does it actually mean?

In this article, we’ll explain what the Smart Account is and where it will enhance the benefits lifecycle and each stakeholder in consumer-driven healthcare plans (CDHPs).

But, before we get to that, it’s important to understand why we decided to create this mobile app in the first place.

Challenges in the CDHP market

The CDHP market has flourished over the past decade.

According to Mercer, 72% of large employers will offer a CDHP in 2019, compared with 20% just a decade earlier, and health benefit accounts (particularly HSAs) have also seen a huge increase in both adoption and account contributions.

Despite a CDHP’s ability to help the ongoing cost crisis in the US healthcare system, the market still has challenges to overcome:

  • Knowledge gaps: It’s no secret that levels of consumer fluency in key healthcare and financial concepts are low. Like… really low. But it’s not just consumers we have to worry about. CDHPs and health benefit accounts can be confusing, and many employers also have significant knowledge gaps.
  • Poorly designed account solutions: Many employers struggle to design and communicate effective CDHPs. As a result, consumers are often unequipped to decide which plans and accounts are right for them, and they also lack the knowledge and tools needed to use their plans effectively.
  • Limited guidance and support: Currently, account solutions offer very little in the way of guidance and support to help consumers proactively navigate critical healthcare funding decisions. Consumers are typically left on their own to decide how to use their plans (including how much to save and where to spend) when they clearly don’t possess the knowledge or skills needed to do so effectively.
  • Little innovation among account solutions: Account solutions have become stagnant due to a lack of innovation. If we’re being honest, most HSA-paired plans look pretty much the same as they did when they hit the market back in 2003.

As a result of these challenges, health benefit accounts continue to be chronically underfunded and underutilized, and often deliver sub-optimal user experiences.

Here’s where the big problem lies. CDHPs require more involvement (and financial “skin in the game”) from consumers so that they naturally start to take a more active interest in the selection and use of their plans.

And, when their money is on the line, consumers will not tolerate a poor user experience.

Over the past decade, technology has conditioned consumers to expect high levels of user experience in nearly every area of their lives. Now, as the CDHP market reaches a critical moment in its development, it’s time for technology to play a role in solving the challenges we’ve outlined above.

What the industry needs (vs. what it has right now)

Right now, there’s a bland selection of commodity-style account solutions with very little consumer support at any stage of the benefits lifecycle. And, most accounts offer only the most basic administrative capabilities that focus solely on supporting account transactions.

If the market is going to continue to grow in the coming years, there needs to be major improvements in the consumer experience. Account solutions need to be:

  • Personalized to give consumers proactive, tailored suggestions that help them navigate their unique health and wealth journeys
  • Self-guiding to take the guesswork out of healthcare funding decisions
  • Real-time to give all stakeholders accurate, up-to-the-minute data and insights
  • Easy to navigate to deliver a simple, superior, and intuitive experience
  • All-inclusive to combine all aspects of the benefits lifecycle into a single, easy-to-navigate solution
  • Reliable to work as expected every time, both safely and securely

How can this be achieved? This is where Smart Account comes into play.

Introducing the Alegeus Smart Account

The Smart Account Mobile App takes advantage of modern technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to provide four essential benefits that have been missing in CDHPs, until now:

  • A best-in-class user experience that differentiates account capabilities, such as mobile-first support and omni-channel engagement
  • Predictive analytics that deliver insights to help stakeholders continually improve their program performance
  • True health & wealth convergence that seamlessly connects the health plan and relevant health and wealth opportunities to personal finances
  • Personalized guidance for consumers to make better decisions about their coverage, cash and care

To make this possible, Alegeus is in the process of making focused investments to improve the consumer healthcare experience and outcomes. While many of these enhancements are designed with account holders in mind, they will undoubtedly add huge value for all CDHP stakeholders in the form of reduced costs, improved differentiation, and greater consumer engagement and satisfaction.

How smart technologies improve account solutions

Very briefly, here are a few of the benefits to expect from Smart Account:

  • TPAs/Carriers: Accelerated business growth through product differentiation and optimization
  • Brokers: Identify opportunities, improve win rates, and deliver better customer outcomes
  • Employers: An easy-to-use solution that maximizes cost savings and employee satisfaction
  • Consumers: A simple, powerful health and wealth experience that guides them to smarter healthcare spending and saving decisions

It’s all happening right now

Smart Account was first presented at the 2019 Alegeus Client Conference, and it is set to launch to consumers in early summer of 2020. Stay tuned to our blog for more information and updates.

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