Research Team: Jamie Yoo, Maria Mona, Shreya Avirneni, and Sandra Mateus.

Health Insurance providers in the US spend billions of dollars on digital transformation. Yet, at best, the website experience of Health Insurance providers is “Poor” to “Average.”

To understand patients’ challenges, we conducted User Experience (UX) Benchmarking across the websites of Blue Shields of California, Kaiser Permanente, and Cigna. This UX research included moderated and unmoderated usability studies and was conducted in late 2023.

We hosted a webinar on February 7th, 2024 to share high-level insights from this research. The full report, webinar presentation deck, and webinar recording are provided below.

Top Insights:

All three sites followed the same intuitive navigation, making it easy to search for ‘Plans’ and ‘Doctors’ intuitively on each site.

Participants easily found “Shop plans” and “Find Doctor” on each health insurance website because they were similar to those on other insurance sites: the words “Shop Plans” and the reference to “Doctors” were placed in the primary navigation. 

These familiar options streamlined the search process, enhancing the overall user experience with clear and easy navigation.

Recommendation: Maintain consistent and familiar navigation elements for ease of use.

Sites that offered a single search flow performed better than those that offered variations of search flows.

When websites presented multiple search flows, participants often felt confused and less confident in their choices. Conversely, a single, straightforward search flow improved task efficiency and boosted participants’ confidence, making them more certain they were taking the correct actions.”

Recommendation: Reduce redundant pathways and complex functionalities and focus on a single, intuitive route to enhance clarity and improve overall user satisfaction.

Keyword-based searches were preferred over advanced filters.

The replication of behaviors from well-established contexts (e.g., Google search and now Chat GPT) highlights a user preference for streamlined and efficient search methods. Notably, the study reveals that advanced filters were utilized by less than 50% of the users, indicating a lower adoption rate for more complex search refinement options.

Recommendation: Enhance search functionalities with intuitive text inputs, predictive suggestions, and efficient keyword processing.

Participants wanted more comprehensive, personal insights on doctors to aid their decision-making. 

Participants expected detailed and qualitative information on physicians and facilities to make decisions. Not only did they want to get a feel for the doctor’s personality and values, but they also wanted to get all the information they needed on the website. They wanted to avoid using external sites, including review sites.

Recommendation: Provide and integrate relevant professional details to reduce the need for external information sources or customer service interactions.

Repeated steps were highly noticeable and negatively impacted the user experience. 

Whenever participants were required to input the same information more than once within the same session, it was immediately noticed and pointed out as a frustration. They also criticized the repetition of initial questions that failed to refine their search results. Such redundancies led to a perception of health insurance websites as time-consuming and inefficient.

Recommendation: Implement intelligent features like auto-population, smart filtering, and concise information presentation to streamline user interactions.

Full Report, Webinar Presentation Deck, and Webinar recording

We hosted a webinar on February 7th, 2024 to share high-level insights from this research. The full report, webinar presentation deck, and webinar recording are provided below.

1. Full Published Report for Competitive UX Benchmarking with Video Highlights for Blue Shields of California, Kaiser Permanente, and Cigna (email required)

Screenshot of slides for competitive UX benchmarking report

2. PDF Deck from the webinar (email required).

3. Video recording of the webinar hosted on February 7, 2024 (YouTube).

Interested in UX Measurements? Competitive Benchmarking: Talk with us; we are happy to help.