Anthem, Inc. is one of the US leading health benefits companies with over US$84bn in annual revenue. Implementing a payment redesign that affects multiple source systems, departments, vendors and its affiliated health plan members is a massive undertaking. This is a major AR solution which addresses the individual consumer experience and consumer payment preferences.
Photo of Simon Jones, J.P. Morgan, David Baxter, ACI Worldwide, Rick Noble, Jeff Hammer and Nate Sass, Anthem, Inc. and Chris Jameson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Staff Vice President Cash Management and Treasury Operations
Staff Vice President Finance and Cash Operations
Anthem, Inc. is one of the US’s leading health benefits companies with more than US$84bn in annual revenue. The company is ranked 33 on the Fortune 500 with 53,000 employees and serves more than 40m medical members through its family of health plans.
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Enhancing the consumer payment experience
Anthem’s family of health plans bill employer groups monthly and generally receive payment via a cheque or an electronic funds transfer (EFT). Recently, due to the growing market of individual insurance policies with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act Exchanges, Anthem health plans needed to shift their focus to the individual consumer payment experience.
Anthem’s treasury department took a leadership role in a series of initiatives to address these issues. Anthem contracted with a third-party electronic payment vendor to respond.
With continued emphasis on improvement, Anthem launched the Consumer Payment Redesign project focused on the following objectives:
Bring the Web Pay portal in-house to allow for single sign-on for payments at anthem.com
Allow members to set up recurring payment by EFT or credit card on the Anthem website.
Enhance the functionality and personalise information of each consumers’ payment and billing history and settings via the web.
Add functionality to make one-time payments or set up recurring payments via a mobile application.
Automate and speed the posting of payments made using the member’s bank portal through the use of electronic lockbox services.
Allow for consumers to make payments via cash at common retail outlets (not yet complete).
Best practice and innovation
This new payment model demonstrates best practice, as it offers convenience, flexibility and personalisation for Anthem’s consumers while cutting costs, stabilising cash flows and increasing member retention and satisfaction for the family of health plans. Consumers demand convenience and several payment options. From 2002 to 2012, cheque volumes as a percentage of total payments by US consumers declined from 61% to 24% while online bill payments for the same period increased from 12% to 50% (source: 2012 Fiserv Billing Household Survey). Anthem not only recognised the shift in its business model towards consumers but also the rapid evolution of how consumers prefer to pay their bills.
“We are honored that we have been recognised among the likes of other leading companies throughout the country and across the world in winning the Adam Smith Award for Best AR Solution. This achievement is a testament of the exceptional talent and hard work among numerous areas of Anthem, specifically our Treasury, Cash Operations, IT and Service Operations teams. Anthem, Inc. and its family of health plans remains committed to enhancing the consumer experience while driving business results and cost savings.”
“This achievement is a testament of the exceptional talent and hard work among our treasury and cash operations team,” said John Gallina, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Anthem.
Gallina concludes, “The treasury department, in collaboration with key business partners across Anthem, created an Accounts Receivable solution that enhances the consumer experience while driving business results and cost savings.”
A 50% reduction in call volumes related to payments.
Significant growth in recurring payments allowed Anthem to improve member retention by approximately 30% versus one-time payments. Along with better retention, the affiliated companies’ treasury department also has access to premium funds quicker with fewer returned items.
Significant increases to member satisfaction as negative customer survey comments dropped by 75% (source: Foresee expert group) and positive survey comments went up by a factor of eight shortly after the implementation of the Consumer Payment Redesign.
Anthem health plans’ Net Promoter Score (NPS), a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships, for the individual line of business rose 7% from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016 while their competitors’ average score dropped 18% in that same period.
Survey results indicated that those members who left Anthem due to problems with payment of their premium dropped from 31% in 2014 to 14% in 2015.
Financial and operational efficiencies associated with the reduction in volume of paper bills, cheque processing and reduced customer service call volumes, resulted in cost savings of approximately US$1.9m annually.
Key learning points
Striving for innovation and best-in-class processes can lead aggressive strategies and successful outcomes. Leverage the strengths of multiple areas within your organisation and break complex initiatives down to defined and measurable goals.