Humana partners with IBM Watson on AI solution

Health insurance giant Humana is joining forces with IBM Watson to equip Humana’s Employer Group members with a conversational AI solution. 

Under the partnership, Humana will leverage IBM Watson Assistant for Health Benefits, an AI-enabled virtual assistant in the IBM Watson Health cloud, to streamline engagements between agents, employers and Humana’s 1.3 million Employer Group medical members and 1.8 dental members.

The technology uses a conversational assistant to provide information on member benefits, coverage, claims, referrals and healthcare costs. The tool aims to understand health plan eligibility and communicate that information into member conversations, personalizing each answer to the specific member based on their active or future health plan.

By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence fused with embedded analytics in the Watson Health platform, we can help our employer-customers, members, agents and broker partners enhance their knowledge so they can all make more informed decisions,” Chris Hunter, segment president of Humana’s Group and Military Business, said in a statement.

The AI assistant is expected to help members in a number of ways, including: answering questions directly from members quickly and accurately; freeing up customer care representatives for better customer service by assisting Humana employees and call center employees to answer questions; and calculating personalized cost estimates for medical services for members through historical claims and provider data.

“Navigating our health coverage without the right support can potentially serve as a barrier to care,” said Paul Roma, general manager at IBM Watson Health. “An AI-enabled conversational agent that is trained to understand health plan benefits logic can play a role in helping to simplify complex or possibly confusing plan information. We are proud to support Humana in leading the effort to deploy conversational AI to help enhance and improve the consumer experience.”

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