Health Insurance App Development: Benefits, Features, and Costs
While we enjoy the benefits of mobile applications in many aspects of our lives, healthcare is lagging. We still run into the same tiresome and inconvenient red tape that could be eliminated with the help of mobile solutions. Let’s find out how mobile health insurance apps can make it convenient.
Think about what receiving healthcare services looks like today. It’s overly complex, with lots of red tape, phone calls, and waiting. If something happens, you need to call your provider and wait till they pick up the phone (hopefully, they do).
Then you have to choose among several options, wait for a real person to talk to, and then dictate your policy number. The process is truly tiresome, long, and downright painful. If you forget your number, you’ll probably need to fill out a form and email it to your health insurance company.
As you can see, people need to go through lots of inconveniences to get medical help, and it’s embarrassing when you think about how easily this could be avoided with a mobile application.
This article explores how a mobile solution can make health insurance convenient, fast, easy for customers, and more profitable for your business. We will also calculate the cost of health insurance mobile app development.
Benefits of a mobile app for health insurance
We’ve talked a bit about the problems a mobile application can solve for customers. Now let’s talk about the problems they can solve for your healthcare insurance business.
Easy information exchange
With a mobile application, information exchange between clients and your company will become faster than ever, as there won’t be any need for tiresome calls.
A mobile app can turn a daunting task of filing claims into a fast and easy process for clients, and optimize the workflow for insurance agencies
Moreover, you’ll get a single synchronized data storage that will be integrated with medical systems (EHR/EMR), third-party platforms, and your healthcare providers’ internal systems. This will allow you to automatically share all data and avoid mishaps.
Optimized business operations
By allowing your clients to file claims in your mobile app, you can significantly reduce the resources needed to support your call center. You’ll also probably need fewer insurance managers, as they’ll spend significantly less time on each client.
Insurance chatbots will allow you to resolve most generic issues automatically and at any time of the day without any involvement from your support staff.
Business growth opportunities
Your managers can be more productive with their time and spend it by actually solving clients’ problems instead of manually entering all the data. You can also scale your business by attracting more clients. This will become much easier as the convenience of your service will likely draw attention.
A mobile solution can also help you sell more of your services, as you can have a separate screen in your application displaying options for auto, life, and home insurance.
Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
Mobile apps offer an impeccable level of convenience and service. By making the process of filing claims simple instead of tiresome, you can win over the hearts of your customers, grow your business, and retain your client base.
Additional marketing opportunities
Mobile apps offer countless ways to market your services. Gather more data from your customers through their mobile devices and make your marketing offers more personalized and hence more effective.
You can effectively communicate with your customers through push notifications and put your best offers in front of their eyes.
Health & medical insurance app market overview
The global health insurance market continues to grow, and right now there’s a great opportunity for private companies to step in as people mostly use private programs.
According to McKinsey, the private health insurance market, already worth $1.3 trillion, is expected to double its revenues by 2025.
But, despite the high level of competition, this industry doesn’t seem to be very fast at adopting technologies that have been successfully adopted in other industries, including retail and logistics.
According to Scanbot, only 42% of European health insurers have a customer-facing mobile app, despite the worldwide trend for digitalization.
Less than a half of health insureris in EU have their customer-facing mobile application
However, each year more and more health insurance companies are hopping on a mobile trend, and the market of healthcare insurance mobile apps continues to grow. The pandemic of COVID-19 has boosted this growth.
The study by Ey has shown that after the pandemic, the policyholders preferred online payments 30% more often, and 32% of them regularly pay their insurance online.
The global healthcare mobile app market size was valued at $17 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 45.0% from 2020 to 2027.
Even though the health insurance market is quite saturated, a mobile application can allow you to win the competition, as it will provide you and your clients with benefits that are hard to ignore.
The most important thing is to make your mobile software convenient and center its functionality around users. Although companies usually have the resources to create a health insurance app, they often lack the tech expertise to get maximum results from their app.
The best way to solve this problem is to get mobile experts to make an app that will meet your company’s and client’s needs. Let’s see what components you need to make a great health insurance app.
How to make a health insurance mobile app
Creating a mobile app can seem like a complex and daunting process… And it is! Just like any other big project, it should be divided into manageable stages. Let’s talk about building a health insurance mobile application step-by-step.
Step 1. Define your vision and business requirements
At first, you need to define what you’d like to achieve by developing your health insurance app and what client needs it has to meet. Write out a typical customer journey at your insurance company.
Usually, clients expect the app will assist them with:
- Filing and managing their claims
- Finding a reliable physician in their area within the insurance network
- Getting information and choosing the most beneficial insurance plan
- Connecting with their healthcare consultants through video, audio, or text chat
- Receiving insurance coverage without in-person visits and paperwork
A good vendor will help you flash out even a vague vision by conducting market research and diving deep into your business processes, goals and preferences
Create a vision for your app and think through your business model, requirements and goals. If you feel like your vision is vague, don’t worry — a vendor with experience in building such apps will help you with proper planning. This will help you avoid unexpected changes or going over budget.
Step 2. Find a reliable vendor
If you don’t have your own in-house development team, partnering with a software development company is the best way to quickly access top talent. Here’s what you can do to find your perfect match:
- Check websites like Clutch.co to find the best vendors and read reviews from previous clients
- Visit your vendor’s website for their content and list of services
- Check the portfolio to see if they have experience with building apps for the healthcare industry
- Shortlist your vendors and contact each — pay attention to how they communicate, what questions they ask, and so on
After you make a choice, it’s time for planning.
Step 3. Go through a discovery phase
The discovery phase is the planning stage of your health insurance app project. At this stage, a business analyst will communicate with you to extract the business requirements, goals, and expectations to turn them into a technical specification.
A technical specification is a document that describes the future software in great detail and contains a feature list, functional and non-functional requirements, third-party integrations, architecture, and a list of stakeholders and all people responsible for the development.
During a discovery phase, a vendor can also provide you with marketing research that includes:
- Market research
- Competitor analysis
- SWAT analysis
- Target audience research
This will allow you to make informed decisions on your future product and make sure it finds its place in the health insurance market.
So, at the end of a discovery phase, you’ll receive:
- A technical specification
- Market report
- Customer journey map
- Design concept
- Project mind map
- Product development roadmap
Step 4. Design your app
The design process of your application can happen during or slightly after the discovery phase when all the features are agreed upon.
Your UX/UI design should correspond to the standards in your industry and look good on your target devices.
Your designer should make your health insurance app accessible by WCAG 2.0 standards. This means implementing one-handed and thumb-friendly navigation, voice controls, a wide enough tap area (7-10mm), and so on.
Step 5. Develop and test your app
After you have your design and plan in front of you, it’s time to divide the whole process into sprints (usually 1-3 weeks each), and develop and test the client and server sides of your app gradually.
At this stage, communication is vital. At Mobindustry, we always make sure to schedule regular calls and send daily reports on the development progress.
In Agile development, the testing happens almost simultaneously to the development, as each piece of developed code is immediately tested and fixed. This allows developers to ensure the highest code quality and save time during final testing.
Step 6. Release your app and maintain it regularly
The release of your application is a major milestone, but it’s only a part of your journey. After the release, you need to maintain and support your application so that it remains relevant to your users.
The maintenance includes:
- Updates to the new versions of the OS
- Bug fixes
- Library and third-party integration updates
- Security checks
- Code refactoring
- New functionality
Now, let’s draw some inspiration from the best examples of mobile apps for health insurance companies that set a standard for the whole industry.
Health insurance apps
We had a hard time finding decent applications from insurance companies because they usually lack important functionality, resulting in poor ratings on app stores and few downloads.
Here, we’ll show you a few examples best health insurance apps that can give you some ideas for your own mobile app.
The Aetna Health application is available to most members of Aetna — a healthcare company that provides insurance and other services. Their application is a great tool for filing and managing claims and purchasing insurance plans.
With this app, users can quickly find a doctor in their area or even connect with them by phone or video.
Aetna’s clear interface shows users data about their benefits and deductibles, as well as their account balances and claims history. The app uses graphs to visualize the cost breakdowns for users’ claims, showing the total cost, plan discount, and what the plan covered.
With Aetna, users can easily access their health ID card, request medication refills online, and view details on their plans.
These are the core features of the Aetna app:
Primary features of Aetna Health application for life insurance:
- Quick access to plan details
- ID card access
- Progress tracking
- View PayFlex® HSA, HRA, and FSA account balances
- Claims management
- Search for doctors and facilities by location, profile, and specialty
- Compare costs for different doctors
- Drug search
- Personal health records
This is another app from a global health insurance company that provides its customers with an easy tool to manage their information. The feature availability is based on a plan, for example:
The myCigna application helps users track their medical expenses, file claims and see claims of their family members. The application also shows how close users are to their yearly deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. If a user’s plan is connected to a savings account, they can see how much they’ve spent and saved up.
The main features of myCigna include:
- ID cards for the whole family
- View, search, bookmark, and group claims
- Check account balances
- Health savings account
- Search for drugs and find the nearest pharmacy
- Health care professional directory
- Procedure search
- Coverage details
- Health wallet
Humana is another large health insurance company that has been around since 1961. Their application allows customers to review and manage their calais, schedule visits to doctors, manage their healthcare needs like refilling prescriptions, etc.
MyHumana has a great search feature for appointments that allows users to look for doctors and pharmacies by specialty, provider, or zip code.
The core functionality of MyHumana includes:
- View plan details
- View, save, and fax medical, dental, and pharmacy ID cards
- Check drug pricing
- Provider finder (requires location sharing)
- Premium payment for HumanaOne and Medicare members
Features that will make your health insurance mobile app successful
What makes an app great? User-centric functionality that meets the needs and expectations of your clients. We’ll discuss the features you need for your health insurance mobile ecosystem that contains of:
- Insurance agencies
- Medical providers
For each of these actors, you can create separate apps. For clients, I recommend building a mobile application. A web app might be a better option for agencies and medical providers.
Let’s start with the must-have features for clients.
Client app features
How people call your company is probably the first thing you need to fix to make your service effective. The ability to call a company from an application is a must-have feature, but still, you should think about other options, such as live chat.
Many people prefer text-based chats over phone calls. If you browse through most online services, you’ll notice that online support chat has already become a standard.
Chat allows your managers to answer clients’ questions and manage several clients simultaneously. You can also provide customer care through live chat.
Document access and sharing
This feature will save your customers from losing information or needing to fill in long forms or send emails. Now they can use an app to find health insurance documents (for example, their medical record) and send them to one of your managers. Security is critical when sharing medical documents: you’ll need encryption to ensure information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Purchasing and renewing policies
Making purchases via mobile apps is popular and convenient. You can increase your sales by offering quick-policy purchasing. Allow your customers to see all plans, choose one, and pay for it immediately in your application.
If your client already pays for an insurance policy, make it possible to renew it in your app as well.
Basic diagnosis and treatment
It’s great if your app has some functionalities of a healthcare application. Giving your customers health advice can distinguish your service from others.
You might want to include basic symptom-based diagnoses, descriptions of common ailments, and advice on their treatment.
You’ll definitely need maps for your mobile app. Users need to be able to see all hospitals and healthcare centers near their current location. And if anything happens, your app can let users simply share their location with a company or doctor instantly instead of explaining where they are.
There’s usually a massive communication problem between clients and insurance companies because clients need to call their managers each time to find out how the process is going. A mobile app can eliminate it and sync all data to allow users to see the status of their claims in real-time.
List of products and policy details
Your clients should be able to check their policy details at any moment, so it’s good to show this information right in your mobile app. This will help to avoid many questions.
Virtual medical ID
This feature allows users to always have their ID card in their phone and access the app and all their medical information with a digital ID. This will allow them to easily interact with doctors, agents and pharmacists without carrying their physical ID around.
An advanced search with filters and categories will allow your users to look for nearby doctors, pharmacies, and clinics right from your app. They should immediately see the prices, copay, and other details relevant to their policy.
I already touched on mobile payments above when talking about purchasing and renewing insurance policies. Mobile payments can also be used for purchasing drugs and paying for services. You can integrate any secure payment gateway relevant to your users like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, etc.
These are the basic features for an insurance mobile application suitable for an MVP. If you want to build a more advanced app, you can implement:
- AI-powered chatbots
- Drug intake reminders
- Loyalty programs
- Video conferences
- Clinic wayfinding maps
- Wearable devices
- Prescription management
You can also use your app as a tool for upselling, as you can highlight your other products there.
Now let’s talk about the features for insurance agents. You can create a separate mobile or web application for your agents to optimize their work with clients.
The insurance agency app features
Your insurance agents should have quick access to client information to be able to provide relevant support and manage clients. Through this feature, an agent should be able to add clients, edit their contact information and check their billing history.
Through this feature, agents should be able to edit policy details, add new information and updates, and automatically inform their clients about these changes.
Previously, users needed to show up to agents’ offices personally or send the documents like hospital receipts by mail. Now, your agents can use apps for seamless and quick document exchange to process claims online. This will optimize your internal operations and workflow.
In-app chat and calls
This feature allows agents to connect with their clients through the app online, answer text messages, and receive or make calls.
Analytics allows insurers to gather and process information about their users. This information includes the most popular policies, how users welcome new services presented in the app, how they prefer to contact their insurers, and so on.
Medical provider app features
For medical providers, you’ll need an app that connects clients and doctors. It can be a part of a telemedicine solution with a personal profile and different chat options, for example, a text and video chat.
These are the features of a health insurance mobile app. Don’t forget about the UX and UI, which have to be clear and simple, and remember that your application has to be as simple as possible.
Now let’s see some examples of great apps.
Health insurance mobile app cost
The cost of making an app depends on many different factors like:
- The app complexity
- The tech stack
- The design complexity
- The team size
- Your development specialists’ hourly rates
The last factor is the most influential and it can change depending on your hiring strategy or your team’s location. Let me explain what this means.
Cost defined by a type of team
There are three ways to get yourself a development team: hire in-house, hire freelancers, or partner with an outsourcing company.
Hiring in-house is the most expensive option, as it can take months of recruitment, and you need to take care of all additional expenses like workspace, equipment, hardware, HR, bonuses, salaries, paid vacations, sick leaves, as well as taxes. Moreover, you must provide your team with a constant and stable workload.
Hiring freelancers is cheaper, but managing several freelancers can become messy and is almost impossible if the project is large. It’s definitely not an option for a health insurance app development.
So, outsourcing is the most cost effective and fast way to get a team of professionals with experience in various industries that can provide you with any services within any timeline.
Cost defined by the team location
Location of your development team is the most important factor determining the hourly rate. The same project with the same team developed in the US can cost up to 5x more than it would cost to build in Ukraine.
Here is the estimated number of days developers will need to implement core features. You should note that this is a very rough estimate and doesn’t include the preparatory stage, quality assurance, design, and release.
|Document access and sharing||2|
|Purchasing and renewing insurance policies||3||6|
|Basic diagnosis and treatment tips||3||10|
|Maps and routes to hospitals||2||7|
|List of products and policy details||3||10|
To receive a precise estimate without any hidden costs of mobile app development, you need to go through a discovery phase and get a detailed technical specification for your project.
Find an experienced team for building your healthcare insurance application
There are several ways you can partner with an outsourcing provider. For example, if you have managers and QA specialists and need just the development specialists, you can hire them from a development company and integrate them into your team. This is called outstaffing.
If you’d like a complete team of full-time specialists, you can hire a dedicated team that will be deeply involved in your project.
Mobindustry welcomes any form of cooperation for your development project. Our experts are able to support you at any stage of your healthcare insurance app development journey: from IT consulting and the discovery phase to development, deployment, and support.
We have extensive experience in building healthcare-related projects for companies of all sizes and backgrounds.
Things to consider before you start health insurance app development
Laws and regulations
Health insurance companies store extremely sensitive data. Its exchange, use, and management are heavily regulated, especially regarding digital products prone to security breaches and hacker attacks.
You need to involve cybersecurity specialists and legal professionals to ensure your future app complies with key regulations in your country. These regulations include:
- HIPAA (the US)
- GDPR (Europe)
- PIPEDA (Canada)
A tech stack will significantly influence your budget and the overall qualities of your app. In mobile development, there are two main development strategies: native and cross-platform.
If you want your app to work on Android and iOS, you’ll need to build two separate native apps or create one cross-platform app.
Native development is reliable and extremely high-quality, but it’s also more expensive. With the right cross-platform technology, you can achieve the same level of performance and quality if your product doesn’t have complex technologies and architecture.
For example, Flutter app development can provide you with a great app that will work on both platforms with the same code base and will help you to save up to 40% of your development budget.
Marketing budget and strategy
When considering your mobile app development budget, it’s important to focus on other expenses like marketing. Without marketing, even the best digital product can flop, so set a budget aside for marketing your future app.
I recommend launching your marketing campaign even before the app is ready — this will give you time to experiment and find the best marketing strategy for your health insurance product.
Mobile apps have already become an important part of many industries. We strongly believe that such a huge market as health insurance also needs to become more modern and convenient for everyone with the help of applications.
Creating a health insurance mobile app is a win-win, as it will become easier for your customers to interact with your service, and your business will instantly become more competitive, as very few insurance companies actually have good mobile apps.
If you want to build an insurance application, contact Mobindustry right away. We’ll offer the best insurance mobile app solutions and help your business by bringing our mobile expertise to the table.