Missouri health insurance provider, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, has created an online forum, Healthchat.com, to address concerns from Americans over the impact of health care reform. The health insurance provider is also taking advantage of social media to get the job done.
With the use of the website, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, Anthem BCBS hopes to reach those who have questions about how the health insurance reform will impact them personally. The text of the law is long and complicated, making it challenging for citizens to learn how each will be individually affected. Kate Quinn, of Anthem, says, “By offering a forum on healthchat.com, we are providing an interactive place where consumers can participate in an open discussion about health benefits and the impact of health care reform.”
Healthychat.com has two main areas: Learn and Stay Informed. On the Learn page is where the “interactive” discussion board is located. Also given are blog posts with information such as “Is it safe to get immunized when pregnant” and others.
Users create a profile, similar to those found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in order to register. They can keep track of conversations, create favorites and make connections with others. And users can “Stay Informed” with a blog at healthychat.com which offers information on upcoming features and related news stories.
Right now, there does not seem to be an interactive quality as reported, upon use of the site. There is a lot of information there but it is not easily clear how one can interact with the site beyond reading the information. Users can comment upon the articles and topics that are there but there does not appear to be a way to start a conversation. Users can “suggest” a topic, however. They can also add the topic discussions to favorites and share it on other social media sites. It causes one to wonder how this website is any different than any other health insurance news website.
The difference may just be that Anthem is listening. The company has created a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel to complement the healthychat.com website. Employees from the company monitor the conversations and use that to provide feedback to the general public and to incorporate suggestions into the website as well as its own policies. At the very least, it is an informative website.