Whether it’s justified or not, Americans don’t trust health insurance companies. As a result, employees and their families often distrust health programs from an insurance carrier.
The June 2015 issue of Insurance Business America published an article entitled “America’s least-respected industries: how does insurance fare?” that cites a Harris Poll that found that only 7 percent of Americans trust insurance companies. That statistic was a 4 percent decrease from the previous year.
Employers promote so many interventions to improve healthcare quality and lower healthcare costs. Yet it’s important to note that the source of these programs ultimately determines whether they SUCCEED (i.e., change employee behavior) or FAIL (i.e., maintain the status quo).
The Elephant in the Room
Whether it’s justified or not, Americans trust their hospital.
As a result, employees are more likely to trust information regarding the quality of a test or a procedure, the price of a test or a procedure or even the necessity of a test or procedure if that information comes from a hospital rather than from insurance companies—regardless of the clinical correctness, cost or logic of that information.
This credibility gap between trust in insurance companies and trust in hospitals is the “elephant in the room.”
How Healthcare Navigation Fits In
Employer health plan programs need to address this credibility gap. Of course, I am biased because we have seen how employers effectively position Compass as an independent third-party to advocate on behalf of employees and their families and focus on what is in their best interest… not the best interest of the insurance company or the hospital. Sometimes these interests are aligned… but not always.