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Few Customers Believe Technology Has Improved Health Insurance Customer Service

Only 11 percent of respondents significantly agreed that increased use of IT in customer service has improved the level of service from insurance companies in the past five years, according to data from Accenture's survey "The 7 Things Your Health Insurance Customers Are Not Telling You."

According to an Information Week report, the survey of 1,000 insured individuals between late Dec. 2010 and early Jan. 2011 found that health insurers have failed to provide personalized customer service despite making huge investments in technology to that end.

According to the report, only 9 percent of consumers agreed that health insurers' communications made them feel a connection to the insurance company. Thirty-two percent strongly disagreed with that statement.

These results come alongside significant investment from health insurance companies in information technology. Aetna and Healthline Networks, a provider of intelligent health information services, have built a website that delivers personalized health benefits information to beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare includes physician-specific pricing, information on disease and customer-specific information on its website.

Kaiser Permanente has signed up 3 million members for the My Health Manager personal health record, which allows members to access PHRs from home, contact their physicians, order prescriptions online and schedule appointments online.

Read the Information Week report on IT in health insurance.

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