For the first time in the history of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), every health insurer tracked in the study earned a rating of “OK.” Although this sounds more worthy of one-handed applause than a standing ovation, it marks steady upward progress for an industry where more than two-thirds of brands landed in the “Poor” category when the CX Index launched in 2016.

Additionally, there was a shake-up at the top of the rankings, powered by statistically significant score increases for four brands: Humana retook the top spot, and both Kaiser Permanente and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield leapfrogged over our new number four, Florida Blue, to land in the second and third positions, respectively. Honorable mention goes to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for jumping up to the number five spot after having been ranked tenth in the industry in 2020.

While two-thirds of health insurers earned statistically significant score increases, the ones that didn’t paid a price. Florida Blue is an example; even though its CX Index score dropped by an insignificant 0.3 points, it tumbled three spots in the rankings.

A few other notes on this year’s results:

  • Customer service isn’t just a key driver; it’s critical. Two of the four key drivers of health insurers’ CX Index ratings are in the customer service category, specifically: “Resolves problems/issues quickly” and “Customer service representatives answer all of my questions.” Health insurers looking to boost their ratings here should consider to what extent they’re supporting and empowering their customer service representatives.
  • Communicating clearly matters. “Addresses my questions with clear answers” is the number one key driver of health insurers’ CX Index ratings. This suggests that, when consumers have questions about their health insurer, the answer needs to come to them in plain language that they can understand.
  • Coverage must match members’ broad needs. Rounding out our top four drivers of health insurers’ CX Index ratings, “Offers the types of healthcare plan/services that I need” is something that intuitively makes sense as important to anyone who has ever used the healthcare system in the US. Consumers want plans that cover their doctor (specifically), that support a wide variety of care needs, and that give them access to a deep and broad network of doctors and hospitals.

Stay tuned for more insights and advice in the upcoming Health Insurers Customer Experience Index, 2021. In the meantime, if you have questions about why your company landed where it did — or how to process the results that we’ve already shared in the “The US Customer Experience Index, 2021” — please reach out for an inquiry.