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Allianz streamlines medical-claims submissions with new app

Members using the free MyHealth app provide details about their claim, take a photo of their medical invoices and submit it to the company. It is the latest example of a health insurer leveraging mobile to meet customers’ demand for a simpler claims-submission process as well as quick access to services, especially during medical emergencies.

“Within the international health insurance market, Allianz Worldwide Care’s MyHealth app has significantly streamlined the process,” said Susan Landers, head of marketing and client management. “There is no longer the need to complete a traditional claim form. We do still need some key details about the claim, but these are asked within the app itself and there are very few questions compared to a traditional claim form.

“For our members, the value is in the speed and convenience of claims submission, access to policy documents and helpful services such as the Pharmacy Aid,” she said. “For members there is also the reassurance of knowing that our services are always close at hand.”

Instant access
Members previously submitted claims by completing a paper or online form and either scanning and emailing it, or mailing it along with medical invoices.

The app also makes policy documents instantly accessible via a mobile device, whether the user is online or offline. Members previously had to find where they filed their hard-copy policy documents, or had to log on to Allianz’ online services to access them.

Developed following input from a variety of clients, the app also lets users leave their paperwork at home but still be able to share policy documents and membership card with a provider at the point of treatment.

It also lets users find nearby hospitals on a map with a GPS-enabled feature, includes a guide to local equivalents of brand name drugs and can translate common ailments into 17 languages.

Allianz Worldwide Care is the international health division of Allianz Worldwide Partners and part of the Allianz Group, based in Munich, Germany.

Healthcare companies have used mobile in different ways, through mobile Web sites and collaborative initiatives, to reach more consumers and provide information on health on a modern platform.

Last month, United Healthcare expanded the rollout of its Health4Me app to all consumers following months of limited customer access (see story). The app offers new features such as the ability to search for nearby urgent care facilities and costs of more than 520 medical services, which aims to allow consumers to easily budget for their medical expenses.

Among the medical services that are searchable through the health insurer’s app, a comprehensive review is provided alerting users what to expect for each procedure. The app also allows searches for nearby healthcare providers and emergency and convenience care facilities.

Responsive design
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. has been using responsive Web design to provide educational materials in both video and digital-brochure formats to consumers through its Lilly for Better Health site (see story).  Having responsive Web design streamlines the approval process for distributing these materials because the information only has to go through channels once to ensure it meets regulatory standards.

Dental insurance provider United Concordia and the Philadelphia Zoo launched a three-year partnership focused on the importance of dental health among children and animals via the Chomper Chums app that offers participants free tickets to the Zoo (see story).  The program teaches children to make healthy food choices by giving them the opportunity to feed an animal of their choice by playing an in-app game.

“We are always looking for ways to add value and improve the overall client experience,” Allianz’s Ms. Landers said. “This year, a key focus for us is providing clients with additional technology based services. Digital technology continues to advance and client demand for this kind of interaction at key touch points is growing.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.