Health insurance cards are a mess. Critical information presented in a way that’s not typically intuitive with poor visual hierarchy, abbreviations that don’t make sense, information that’s not clearly labeled, and text that’s too small to read. This leads to a poor experience further down the line with medical care. According to a recent survey sponsored by Zocdoc, over 25% of patients booking appointments with new doctors aren’t confident that they will be in-network, and 56% of people say they have a hard time figuring out what their insurance will cover.
An easy first step to reducing some of these anxieties? Redesigning the health insurance card. Zocdoc worked with the design studio Office of Baby to create a card that doesn’t require detective skills to understand and has a template on its site that anyone can download. The online healthcare appointment booker hopes insurance companies take advantage of the free design and adopt it officially.
“Patients are consumers, and every time they book a flight, hail a car, or get their groceries delivered, their expectations continue to move toward on-demand, digital, and well-designed experiences,” Richard Fine, VP of marketing at Zocdoc, tells Co.Design in an email. “Healthcare is notably out of step with these expectations. Modern technology and design can make the overall healthcare experience clearer and more intuitive for patients–and, by extension, doctors, insurers and more–which is not just an experience they want, but one they deserve in this day and age. ”
Zocdoc and Office of Baby split the card into two parts: a section for professionals and a section for consumers. The professional section contains strings of numbers the medical community needs for billing–Rx numbers, issuer ID, etc.–and the consumer section includes info people need to book services–their plan’s name, what their co-pay is, their member ID–and speaks in plain English. The hope is this will help patients book the care they need with confidence that it’ll be covered by their insurer.
The healthcare industry is trying to become more human-centered–but very slowly. Designers are making medical tools, some of which haven’t changed in decades, more comfortable for patients. The architecture of hospitals is becoming more sensitive to the needs of patients and their families. CVS is giving prescription bottles a long overdue overhaul.
“Most of healthcare is organized from a medical professional’s vantage point–care is viewed through an academic lens that uses industry jargon only understood by doctors and insurers, which creates patient-facing processes that are poorly designed, inefficient, and cumbersome,” Fine tells Co.Design. “What we’re doing, and what we’d like to see more of in the industry at large, is putting ourselves in the patient’s shoes.”
Zocdoc views its redesign as a PSA to insurers. Let’s hope the message sticks.