Bupa's big API push treats confusion over unclaimed insurance 'extras'

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Bupa's big API push treats confusion over unclaimed insurance 'extras'

Booster shot for customer clarity.

Health insurer Bupa has taken the covers off a new set of APIs it says now allows members to instantly figure out how much of their use-it-or-lose-it extra’s cover they still have in an effort to boost satisfaction and drive down call centre volumes.

Led out of the Bupa Digital team, the new app functionality kills a bugbear of claimants signed-up for packages that include optical, dental and a pair of runners – how much can a member claim before their annual allocation runs out?

It’s a question that superficially sounds simple but in reality dives an archive of customer records spanning more than 40 years.

The challenge for Bupa Digital is that while people love their policy extras and often stay loyal because of them, the feeling of satisfaction and value for money (ie when you know you aren’t giving an insurer more than you need to) hasn’t always flowed seamlessly.

“For many sectors, letting customers see what they spend and what they have left to use is not revolutionary,” Park told iTnews.

“Health care though is inherently more complex than most other sectors, so the fact that a majority of our customers can now log on to myBupa and see their remaining limits is a key step to improving transparency and usability for members.

It also provides a much needed restorative in terms of customer trust confidence after bank owned insurers copped a pasting during the Hayne Royal Commission into banks for trying to wriggle out of claims and selling plain worthless junk dressed up as comfort.

 “When people talk about the cost of health insurance, often what they are looking for is value for money. This development means customers can now see how much they have to claim and help them plan so they get the most out of their cover, and more value for money,” Park said.

It also means Bupa can put around $80 billion in revenue annual revenue in the ANZ region to better work because the cost of administration is lowered. Savings may seem modest, but insurance is a scale business where small differences can have big effects.

In the case of extras coverage around 40 percent of call centre volume has been “in some way related to customers seeking guidance on what they are covered for”.

Members now get the function put under their noses automatically, either in app, or online. It runs on both iOS and Android.

“There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to develop connectivity between what were a number of legacy systems across our acquired health insurance businesses,” Park said.

“We built the feature on top of the system that powers our health insurance business through a suite of new web services and then delivered the experience via our customers’ myBupa website and mobile app.”

Bupa’s latest addition follows its push to “curate” paths for customers through Australia’s complex healthcare system revealed by iTnews in September.

“One of the customer pain points from a health insurance perspective is navigating an incredibly complex health system between public and private … and what to do when something happens,” Bupa growth and performance marketing director David Hirsch said at the time.

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