Analytics in health care: Tools in the hands of consumers

Kevin Kelly | Deloitte Center for Health Solutions | November 11, 2013

Despite facing some issues at the start, health insurance exchanges are beginning to open their doors; health plans are beginning to compete on state and federal marketplaces and health care reform is placing pressure on providers to cut costs while increasing quality. At the same time, marketplaces are starting to build tools that enable and expect consumers to navigate an evolving health care system on their own. What tools are being placed in the hands of these health care consumers to ensure their success?

One of the far-reaching benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that it defines Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) for health insurance products. In creating MEC, the ACA mandated insurance carriers to define consistent products, which in turn enabled health care consumers to compare like products (apples to apples). In addition to comparing products, these new marketplaces provide consumers the tools to compare out of pocket costs―they can now answer questions such as: “What is the premium?” “What is the out-of-pocket for an individual?” “What is the out of pocket for a family?” This enables consumers to quickly identify what is right for their family.

A future opportunity that can change the market is when choice is coupled with decision-making capability via analytics...