Healthfirst Continues to Advance Digital Tools with Launch of Mobile App

Let’s Members Keep Access to Healthcare Close at Hand

Healthfirst, New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurer,i has launched the Healthfirst NY Mobile App, an iOS-compatible mobile app created to let Healthfirst’s 1.5 million members keep access to healthcare close at hand. Healthfirst members throughout New York City, on Long island, and in Westchester, Sullivan, and Orange counties can use the app to access in-network care, locate nearby essential services, and view digital member information and benefits.

“Healthfirst insures those in downstate New York, including one out of every sevenii New York City residents, and a disproportionate number of those most severely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Pat Wang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Healthfirst. “This crisis has accelerated the work we have done for more than 25 years to establish relationships of trust in the community throughout our service area and to work with local providers to help our members receive access to quality care. We are happy to have accelerated the launch of our first, native mobile app to connect with our members to make sure they can access the care they need, and to continue to engage with a uniquely human touch, whether we are engaging with them in person or not.”

The new app offers members a personalized experience rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Based on member research, the app prioritizes features that are especially critical for New Yorkers, including a seamless interface to receive virtual care through Teladoc®, as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they access care and services. Extensive user testing shaped an easy-to-navigate, personalized design that lets members quickly view and understand their benefits, search for a provider (by specialty, location, gender, and language spoken), and identify community resources tailored to their needs (by providing a searchable directory of more than 5,000 organizations offering 20,000 services in New York City and surrounding areas, including more than 300 food pantries).

“Now more than ever, due to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, Healthfirst had an increased urgency to provide our members with a tool that gave them easy access to the care and resources they needed to stay healthy and live a healthier life,” said GT Sweeney, Healthfirst’s Chief Information Officer. “Within 72 hours after closing our 23 retail locations for the health and safety of our members and employees, Healthfirst launched an online Virtual Community Office that lets our members and prospects engage directly with a local sales representative from the safety of their homes. Knowing that our members connect to the internet through their cellphone, our hope for our new Healthfirst App is to put the power to reach healthcare resources at their fingertips. The Healthfirst app will help our members with features such as one-touch access to find a doctor, pharmacy, or urgent care center, and locate essential services like food and housing.”

Healthfirst members can use the app to:

  • Search for in-network care providers by specialty, location, gender, and language.
  • Find essential services nearby—food, housing, education, employment, financial and legal assistance, and more.
  • Pull up their digital member ID and save, email, text, or AirDrop it.
  • Use our Healthfirst Virtual Community Office to search for a local sales rep by borough, office location, language, and gender.
  • See benefits and coverage information specific to their plan.
  • Access Teladoc® to speak with U.S. board-certified doctors 24/7 by phone and video.
  • Contact Healthfirst Member Services to get answers to benefit questions.
  • Get instant notifications on their device to stay in the know, learn about new features, and receive personalized recommendations to improve their health.

The five-star-ratediii Healthfirst NY Mobile App is available in English for the iOS platform via the Apple App Store. It will be available for Android by the end of the year. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese language versions are also planned for release later this year.