Consumers demand greater digital engagement from their health plans and more dynamic self-service tools. Independence Blue Cross, the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, is delivering on these demands with their newly created Achieve with Independence program.
The Achieve with Independence program was developed to give members the personalized resources and tools they need to lead healthier lives. Independence partnered with innovative technology providers to make this initiative possible. By merging secure mobile messaging with a custom-designed digital health platform, the Achieve Well-Being application was built.
“We are dedicated to bringing unique digital capabilities to employers and members throughout the region and nationwide, and teaming up with likeminded, innovative companies like New Ocean and Relay allows us to fulfill that goal,” said Paula Sunshine, senior vice president and chief marketing executive at Independence.
Achieve Well-Being is an online suite of customized tools that creates personalized paths to well-being for registered members. The well-being journey begins when a member logs onto Independence’s member website or the IBX mobile app. Once registered, the member completes a confidential well-being profile that asks them questions about their health, from past health conditions to future goals to their daily habits and mental state. The provided informed is then configured into a fully personalized recommendation plan that features specific focus areas and activity programs for addressing each. Focus topic areas might include nutrition, physical activity, stress management, responsible drinking, depression prevention, sleep or financial well-being. Members can choose activity programs of different difficulty levels and durations, then build their program activity schedule, including scheduling when they would like to receive mobile text reminders.
The program doesn’t just advise members on what actions to take though—it also provides them with the resources to make it happen and the motivation to stay on track. Helpful articles, nutritional recipes, videos and inspirational messages are sent to the member via mobile messaging as part of Independence’s shift to a mobile-first strategy. Motivation extends beyond encouraging messages though. Leveraging the power of positive reinforcement, the platform also awards tokens and badges for completing activities and reaching milestones, creating incremental behavior change. Employers have the option of tying these badges to gift cards and cash rewards, as well as integrating their own unique challenges.
In addition to supporting personalized text messaging, Achieve Well-Being also syncs with a broad array of fitness devices and mobile health tracking apps, such as Misfit Wearables, Movable and MapMyRun in order to make use of the tools consumers may already be using. Members are able to select the mobile apps they would like to integrate into their program as part of the activity scheduling process. Data from the apps is then automatically streamed into the personal health tracking dashboard of the Achieve Well-Being platform, creating a fully integrated, cross-channel solution.
“We’ve made it easy for our members to achieve what’s important to them — whether that is improving overall health and well-being, managing a chronic condition, better understanding health benefits, or managing health finances.” said Sunshine. “Our suite of innovative digital resources and tools puts members in control of their health and well-being goals while providing support and inspiration to stay on track.”
While the Achieve with Independence program was only recently launched, there is great insight to be taken away from the program for payers who may be considering developing their own digital health platform, such as:
• Digital innovation is possible through strategic partnership with likeminded technology startups and a merging of their unique capabilities.
• A holistic approach to well-being should be taken that encompasses lifestyle behaviors/habits, emotional wellness, mental health and finance management.
• Recommending actions isn’t enough. You must integrate regular reminders, motivation tactics, product/service discounts and incentives.
• Make use of the apps and wearables consumers are already using in their daily lives to make the experience simple and fun, while gaining additional data to support personalization.
• Create a program centered upon empowering the individual to achieve and giving them the tools to set and self-manage their goals, taking on a supportive and encouraging role, rather than a dictating role.
• Optimize participation by creating custom cross-media marketing for employee distribution, including posters, videos, flyers and email campaigns.
By syncing today’s most popular fitness apps and wearable devices to an integrated dashboard that tracks progress and delivers biometrics readings, Independence is closing the loop on digital health while prompting other insurers to drive wellness innovation with mobile.