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What citizens really want from their public health insurance

What citizens really want from their public health insurance

Bain study on the situation of the statutory health insurance in Germany

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What citizens really want from their public health insurance

For the statutory health insurance funds the phase of financial recovery and consolidation could already come to an end this fall. Irrespective of a possible new statutory framework, the sector faces major structural changes. A declining and aging population in Germany, along with the rapid advancement of the digitalization of society, require the enhancement of existing business models.

More satisfied than unsatisfied customers in the statutory health funds

In precisely such an environment a stable and loyal customer base provides the foundation for sustained market success. The survey, conducted by Bain & Company among more than 3,200 customers from 17 large statutory health insurance funds in Germany, shows how satisfied members and insureds really are and what in particular fosters their loyalty. The result is encouraging: The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measuring customer loyalty recorded across all health insurance funds stood at plus ten percent and thus well above the readings for most other service sectors. This means that, as things stand, there are more satisfied than unsatisfied customers in the statutory health insurance funds. However, there are substantial variations in the individual players’ scores. Differences also exist between the age groups. Satisfaction rises with age and varies from customer to customer. And: Despite the relatively high satisfaction on average, one in four of those questioned were in principle ready to switch to another fund. So the health funds are not managing to meet all customer needs in full at all times and in every location. According to the Bain survey there are several key factors driving customer loyalty: The services on offer top the ranking, followed by quality of service and advice. It is these very two areas that allow a differentiation from the competition, since the insureds place particular store on an empathetic and competent attitude among the staff. By contrast, the health insurance contribution is less important for the customer, occupying only fourth place. However, it should be borne in mind that, at the time of the survey, none of the health funds were charging a top-up levy. The proximity of the next local branch plays only a subordinate role.

Digitalization of service range

Even in the digital age the local branch remains the focal point for personal service and competent advice. But at the same time insureds expect a broad digital range of services. In future they wish to decide themselves whether they use traditional channels or digital options – first and foremost internet and email – to get in touch with their health fund. The demand for digital services is rising by up to 60 percent.

Many statutory health funds still have room to improve here. The NPS of internet-savvy customers stands at plus 5.9 percent, whereas for users of traditional channels it reaches plus 13.5 percent. It is precisely the younger “digital natives” who are relatively critical of their health fund’s online services. Integration of the online and the offline world into one omni-channel presence is therefore one of the five success factors enabling health funds to stand out from the competition. The others are a clear positioning the customer can experience, maximum customer focus, simple and efficient processes along with the mobilization and qualification of staff. By focusing on these five factors, health funds can optimize the services they offer and thus further boost the satisfaction and loyalty of their customers. This in turn is the key criterion to confront the approaching structural and regulatory challenges convincingly.

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