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A Guide to Crafting the Perfect Health Insurance App

How to develop software for insurance carriers

Make waves in the industry by implementing a secure and competitive healthcare insurance app

Health insurance (HI) software allows insurance companies to provide online services to their customers. Health insurance apps help insurance carriers track customer data, process claims, and provide customer support on time. They also help customers view insurance policies, apply for benefits, file claims, and communicate with the HI providers' representatives. 

Providers receive many benefits from using insurance software: 

  • It automates business processes, saving the company's time and money

  • It improves risk management and helps better assess the company's portfolio

  • It allows for making more informed decisions about where to allocate the company's resources

If you are a forward-thinking CEO or founder with a great idea for developing a HI app, you are in the right place. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of implementing your HI project. We'll cover everything from market research to design to user experience. By the end of this guide, you'll have all the information you need to get started.

Health insurance market overview

If you're thinking about developing a health insurance app, it's important to understand current trends and how they might impact your business. Keep these five things in mind as you move forward with your app development plans.

1. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made health insurance available to more people. This has led to an increasing number of people with health insurance, and as a result, a growing supply from health insurance software companies.

2. Technology is changing how people interact with health insurance. More and more people are using apps and online tools to manage their policies, and this trend is only going to continue.

Health insurance market trends
Health insurance market trends

3. The market is becoming more complex. Health insurance plans are becoming more complex, and it's becoming harder to understand what's included in each plan.

4. The cost of health insurance is rising. We're seeing an increase in the cost of health insurance, both for individuals and businesses.

5. The health insurance market is becoming more global. With the rise of the Internet and domain-specific software, more and more people are able to compare health insurance plans from different countries and companies.

Top health insurance software solutions (and their drawbacks)

Before launching a new software product, it is important to study the competitors, evaluate their strengths, and consider their weaknesses. Currently, there are a few top health insurance agency software solutions on the market. We provide a brief overview of each by considering their usability and available feature set.

myCigna

Cigna is a global insurance carrier operating in 30+ countries of the world. Their app lets you manage your health insurance plan, view your ID card, check on claims, and find in-network doctors and pharmacies.

The app is available on iOS and Android with 4.8 and 3.2 ratings on the respective platforms. The most frequent customer complaints are related to app crashes, long screen loading, and lack of biometric login.

myCigna app
myCigna app

UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is a part of UnitedHealth Group, a US multinational company offering varioushealthcare products and insurance services. The UnitedHealthcare app lets you view your ID card, check your claim status, look up doctors, video chat with a doctor, estimate costs, and find the nearest urgent care center or pharmacy.

The app runs on iOS and Android and has high ratings on both platforms of 4.7 and 4.5 respectively. However, the latest reviews in the Play Market indicate that some app features don't work as expected. For example, the app does not send timely notifications, does not recognize images and documents, and crashes from time to time.

Aetna Health

Aetna is a well-established US healthcare company with over 200 years of history. It sells dental, disability, behavioral health, and other types of insurance plans on a long-term and short-term basis. The Aetna Health app lets you access your ID card, view and pay claims, find doctors and pharmacies, and estimate the cost of a procedure before you get it.

The Aetna Health app has iOS and Android versions and a 4.6 rating on both platforms. However, the users claim it fails to process payments, suggests unavailable doctors, and lacks face recognition during the login step.

Castlight Mobile

Castlight Health is a healthcare navigation company helping users get quality healthcare services at the best prices. The Castlight Mobile app provides users with personalized healthcare information. It includes a directory of doctors and hospitals, as well as cost comparisons for different healthcare services. Other key features include finding care, tracking past care, checking plan status, and using an e-Card.

Castlight Mobile meets the needs of iOS and Android users. It has a high, 4.7 rating on both platforms. Despite that, many users complain about the inability to log into the app due to a server error and poorly synchronized data across devices.

Castlight Mobile app
Castlight Mobile app

SimplyInsured

SimplyInsured is an online platform that offers personalized recommendations and comparisons for different healthcare plans, making it easy to find the right coverage for your needs. The target audience of SimplyInsured is small businesses. Its primary goal is to eliminate the fear of health insurance by providing comprehensive information about different healthcare programs.

SimplyInsured is a web-based software solution. Despite many positive reviews on various review platforms, some users complain about poor customer support and the outdated UI of the program.

How to develop a custom health insurance app

Custom software development requires a solid implementation plan. So, if you want to develop an efficient health insurance app, here are five steps to follow.

Choose your niche

This could be a specific type of health insurance (such as life insurance, dental insurance, or pet insurance), or it could be a more general app that caters to all types of health insurance.

Your niche will help you determine the specific features and functionality your app will need. For example, if you're focusing on life insurance, your app might need a claims processing system that can handle death claims. If you're creating a common health insurance software, you'll need features for policy management and customer relationship management (CRM).

Choose the right technology stack

This is where it's important to have a clear idea of what you want the app to do and how it should interact with users. You also need to decide how you will handle user data. Will you store it locally on the user's device or in the cloud? Each option has its benefits and risks, and each option determines the technology stack for your health insurance software.

For example, if you decide to design a SaaS platform so that users can enter it from any device through a web browser, you'll need to access reliable cloud-based services. When choosing among cloud technology providers, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. For example, you'll want a scalable platform that can easily handle spikes in traffic. You'll also want to ensure the cloud provider has secure algorithms in place to process, store, and transmit user data. Finally, you'll need to examine the costs of the cloud-based services and choose the most efficient option from the price/quality perspective.

If you create on-premises software for insurers, you will need to hire a reliable hardware team to help you set up IT infrastructure. You'll also need to work closely with data security experts to ensure that sensitive information is protected from hacker attacks and malicious intruders. Finally, you'll need experienced DevOps and infrastructure engineers to keep your app running smoothly.

Design the security and authentication process

Medical software in general, and medical insurance software in particular, should meet high-security requirements established by legal authorities and industry trends. Therefore, before streamlining your insurance business with a specialized program or becoming a health insurance software vendor, you need to study HIPAA, GDPR, and other legal documents that regulate the safety of user data.

The key measures to take are as follows:

  • develop a comprehensive security policy with all employees strictly following it

  • ensure data protection at the administrative, physical, and technical levels

  • introduce a system of penalties for non-compliance with safety standards

Requirements for HIPAA compliant apps
Requirements for HIPAA compliant apps

On the technical side, you’ll need to make sure your team follows a secure software development life cycle and implements the following in your health insurance enrollment software:

  • multi factor authentication

  • role-based access control

  • regular backups

  • disaster recovery plan

  • activity logging

  • encryption of user data

  • secure connection (https)

  • session management (session expiration, session ID rotation, activity logging)

  • fraud detection

Implement full stack development for a custom health insurance app

You’ll need a full stack development team to help you create, launch, and maintain all the features of your custom insurance software. Such a team will build the frontend and backend of an application, create catchy brand-oriented design, and ensure smooth user experience.

When hiring a development team, you want to ensure they are experienced in programming languages like Java, Python, and C#. You also want full stack developers who understand server-side scripting (PHP, Ruby on Rails), authentication protocols like OAuth2, HTML/CSS/JavaScript for website design and frontend experience, and databases such as SQL depending on what data storage needs you have.

As for UI/UX designers, make sure that they focus on excellent usability and effortless interaction with your app. Also, consider following UI best practices and guidelines to design software that speaks your company brand.

Test, deploy, and optimize the custom health insurance app

You'll need to test the app for usability, compatibility, and stability. This means running extensive testing to make sure everything is working as it should, and that there are no bugs or glitches. Once that’s done, you'll need to deploy the app to your chosen platform web or mobile. If you develop a mobile app, you will need a confirmation from Apple Store or Google Play before it becomes available to users.

After your health insurance software is live, it's important to monitor its performance and user feedback. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes. Regular updates and maintenance are also key to keeping the app running smoothly and keeping users happy.

Implementing health insurance software
Implementing health insurance software

Health insurance app development outsourcing: how to choose a technology partner

When it comes to outsourcing your company's software development, it's crucial to choose the right partner. But how do you know who that is? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Do your research. Understand what different companies offer and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

2. Ask for references. Talk to other companies that have worked with the potential partners or read feedback from former clients at trusted resources such Clutch, Goodfirms, G2, etc.

3. Meet with the team. Book a video conference or arrange a personal meeting to ensure you're comfortable with the team and that they have the skills and experience to do the job.

If you are interested in health insurance software development, Erbis can help. We have extensive experience in developing custom solutions for our clients, and we can help you get the most out of your health insurance business.

Our team of developers, designers, QA engineers, and business analysts will work with you to design and develop an app that meets your specific needs. We can also help you integrate your software with existing systems and processes and help you with product maintenance and support.

Contact us today to learn more about our health insurance app development services. We look forward to working with you!

December 08, 2022