UNITEDHEALTHCARE expands availability of quicken health expense tracker to nearly 700,000 consumers
Online tool is latest addition to UnitedHealthcare’s innovative programs and services
MINNEAPOLIS and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is expanding the availability of Quicken Health Expense TrackerSM to help nearly 700,000 of its commercial health plan enrollees nationwide better manage their health-related finances and information.
Developed by Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) and UnitedHealth Group’s Ingenix subsidiary, Quicken Health Expense Tracker helps consumers organize and understand their health care financial information in a simple, clear way that will help them make more informed decisions about their medical expenses.
Following a successful pilot program, UnitedHealthcare is now offering employees of select large-business customers access to Quicken Health Expense Tracker and expects to make it available to more than 20 million commercial health plan participants by year end.
“We are making it easier for consumers to manage their health-related finances at a time when these individuals are taking more ownership of their health care decisions,” said Mike Matteo, CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s national accounts business that serves large employers. “With this ownership comes a greater need for decision-making tools that help consumers simplify how they collect, manage and understand their health care expenses. Quicken Health Expense Tracker enables users to translate the oftentimes fragmented components of their health care costs into more transparent, usable information.”
Intuit’s own research with more than 7,800 consumers found that people are often overwhelmed by the paperwork associated with receiving medical care. In pilot testing and real-world usage, Quicken Health Expense Tracker helped employees better navigate the health care system and understand the total cost of the health care they consume by:
* Communicating health care terms and codes into easy-to-understand language.
* Showing the calculations behind the amount billed and owed for each medical bill.
* Helping users check claims for accuracy and providing step-by-step guidance to resolve issues.
* Illustrating the current status of the individual’s deductibles and out-of-pocket spending.
* Tracking medical expenses for tax reporting to help ease the burden of tax time.
* Helping users determine proper funding levels for pretax savings vehicles like flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts.
* Sending e-mail alerts if a claim has an outstanding balance after insurance payments, or if a particular claim needs attention.
Quicken Health Expense Tracker is the latest in a series of innovative programs and services UnitedHealthcare has introduced over the last several years to simplify how consumers understand, use and manage their health care resources. Others include magnetic stripe health care ID cards, an online personal health record, and a physician designation program that provides quality and cost efficiency information in more than 130 markets nationwide.
Drawing on claims data, Quicken Health Expense Tracker automatically assembles a complete financial picture of an individual’s medical-related savings and expenses into one easy-to-use location. Then it provides step-by-step guidance to help consumers understand their health care expenses and make the most of their employer-sponsored benefits.
Once a consumer voluntarily registers to use the tool, up to 18 months of historical UnitedHealthcare claims and benefit data will be automatically loaded into the program. Daily feeds are then provided that include any new or updated claims, helping consumers answer common questions such as, “How much do I owe after my most recent doctor’s visit?” and “What claims are still outstanding and need my attention?”
“We’ve seen this product help people recognize, better utilize and appreciate the total value of the health benefits that their employer provides for them,” said Peter Karpas, senior vice president and general manager, Quicken Health Group. “Our goal is to transform the way people interact with the health care system and make the financial side of health care easier for consumers, health plans, employers and providers. And it starts with the support of forward-thinking companies like UnitedHealthcare.”
Quicken Health Expense Tracker was developed by Intuit and Ingenix, a UnitedHealth Group company that is a leader in health information solutions. Ingenix played a key role in designing the security and connectivity between the software and enrollees’ health information.
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