Just in time for the start of open enrollment, a Utah health plan has devised a mobile app solution to the problem of convincing so-called “young invincibles” to sign up for health coverage: a gamified app they hope will educate users about the costs of being uninsured. Arches Health Plan is a 27,000-member co-op health plan funded by provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
“We were on college campuses talking to this demographic,” Tricia McGarry-Schumann, Chief Marketing Officer for Arches, told MobiHealthNews. “It became pretty evident they did not understand how costly [health] services are, particularly services related to the typical lifestyle in Utah which is a very active one. We have a lot of skiers here, hikers, bikers, cyclists, and they generally have no idea services are so expensive.”
The app, called “Arches Saves Your Bacon” aims to give users an idea of how different behaviors affect their health risks and how much they can cost them. First, the user spins a wheel to generate six behaviors that range from mundane behaviors (binge-watching Netflix) to extreme sports (skiing or skateboarding) to just plain silly entries (one just says “BEES!!”, for instance).
After the user answers a few questions about themselves, the game has them click through each month of the year as it randomly flashes from green to yellow to red. If it’s green, the user is rewarded with a safe month, yellow turns out a minor incident, and red is a catastrophic accident that leads to a game over. The incidents are paired with two money amounts — the cost with and without insurance — but also with a little story tied to one of the risk factors the user initially selected. Keep reading>>