Author by Humana

The only growth demographic for the next 30 years in America will be entering a healthcare marketplace poorly suited to the holistic healthcare needs they will have. To prepare for this wave of new consumers, Combo helped Humana reevaluate every aspect of the member, provider and sales agent healthcare experience and construct a new healthcare model from the ground up.

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Rethinking Care for Seniors

Legacy Systems and Infrastructure Impeded Progress

Medicare Advantage (private health plans approved by Medicare) has been in existence for almost 20 years, built on the established 38-year history of Medicare. The complexity of the American healthcare marketplace required a complex interconnected infrastructure of policies and technologies that sought to balance the health needs of individuals with the business demands of private enterprise. These sometimes conflicting goals often pushed a user experience to a secondary consideration, resulting in functional but often confusing and complicated interactions between the various constituents in the marketplace ©.

© The unmissable Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare begins on October 15 each year. When asked when the Annual Enrollment Period starts, more than half of respondents answered incorrectly, believing it started later in the year.

Auditing the Challenge

In such a regulatory complex environment, one of the greatest challenges Combo faced was defining and mapping existing user experiences. Siloed communication structures, multiple participating parties—from primary health providers to pharmacy, finance and claims handling—and a lack of consumer-centric strategies had resulted in fragmented and disconnected engagement touchpoints between all parties. To understand both friction areas of existing experience and define and prioritize areas of opportunity, Combo strategists worked across functional areas of Humana to build the first holistic member journey map in the company's history.

Generationalizations Clouding Solutions

People over 65 are more often than not ignored by brands and marketing. While this age group represents over 70% of wealth in the US and is by far the fastest-growing demographic, by most estimates, less than 10% of overall US marketing dollars are focused on them. One result of this is a lack of meaningful research and insights and thus a reliance on stereotypes, generalizations and platitudes of the motivations, hopes, dreams and fears of a generation with a third of their life still in front of them.

People in their later years become more, not less, diverse. And tomorrow’s elders will be different not only from one another, but from today’s elders as well.
Age Wave

Empathy-Based Research

Following development of a research design that focused on people over statistics, Combo strategists traveled to far corners of America, speaking to some of the most financially and health-challenged people over 65 to understand how the products and solutions being developed could most positively impact their lives. One key finding was that while society often pigeonholes retired people as “retired from life,” this is far from the truth. In reality, this generation continues to have goals, aspirations and dreams, and in helping them achieve these, strategists realized Author had identified the core brand role: helping people live their best life on their terms.

Communications as Health Tools

A common complaint about health insurance in America is the convoluted and complex stream of communications a person regularly receives from their health insurance company ©. Partly driven by regulatory requirements and partly by prioritization of business needs over clarity, an average Medicare Advantage member is exposed to hundreds of pages of documents every year yet has little comprehension of how to separate what is important from what is bordering on junk mail. Realizing that these communications were the most voluminous and present touchpoints a healthcare brand has with its members, Combo strategists and designers set out to rethink every single document a member, provider or sales agent receives through a new lens of considering all communications as health tools.

© After testing 34 common health insurance terms, it's clear that the Medicare-eligible have a need for better comprehension around industry jargon. Combo’s research shows respondents were uncertain about the meaning of 20 terms regularly used in health insurance communications (over half of terms tested).

Enterprise-Led Startups

Author is a wholly owned subsidiary of Humana, the third-largest health insurance company in America, serving almost five million Medicare Advantage members. Humana has a history of proactively driving its business toward bold goals in service to its members’ interests. Author was created in this spirit to provide a platform for further pushing how an innovative whole-care approach can positively impact members. Our task was to design a brand that fit within the Humana ecosystem while also retaining enough independence to connote the new approach the Author Medicare product would take.

Somebody came up with Author to make Humana a better insurance company, and they did it.
Benny, Author Member

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