Humana 'ICE' Man Heats Up Consumer Offerings
A lot of rhetoric has touted "consumer-directed" health insurance offerings, but health insurers need to "walk the talk" if the term is to have any real meaning, says Mike Battaglia, Humana's (Louisville, Ky.; $4.7 billion in assets) new chief consumer officer. Battaglia was appointed to lead the insurer's Integrated Consumer Experience (ICE) division, which will work across key areas of the company to create innovative services, tools and organizational practices to make the consumer a central player in health insurance decision-making.
That goal already has been accomplished by more progressively consumerist industries, such as consumer electronics and consumer packaged goods, Battaglia asserts. "These are industries that tend to have much more direct relationships with the consumer, and they're very profit/loss-oriented," he argues. "Their viability is predicated not only on their ability to understand and market to consumers, but also to design products and services in ways that aren't just based on sophisticated methodologies of listening to consumers, but actually co-opting intelligence and ideas on the product design from the consumers."
Battaglia sees technology as a key enabler in building decision-making tools stratified to varying consumer needs and abilities. Having had some degree of resistance to customer service-related technologies when first encountering them in other areas of life, Battaglia has now become "an obnoxious proselytizer of such technology," he jests.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio