Canadian health plan offers mobile claims app

By Chris Gullo
01:08 pm

ezclaim mobileEquitable Life of Canada announced the launch of its EZClaim app for BlackBerry devices. The mobile app enables users to submit health and dental claims and receipts electronically from their mobile device. An Apple iOS version of the free app is expected to launch soon, according to the company.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is based in Canada, too, which may account for the unusual BlackBerry-first launch. Most apps start with an iPhone launch followed by Android.

Equitable Life health plan customers who have BlackBerry devices can use the EZClaim app today. The app officially hit the BlackBerry App World online store two weeks ago. Here's how it works: Users enter their personal information (including that of their spouse or dependents) once and fill out the details of the specific claim. The user then can then take a picture of their claim-related receipts and upload them to the company's servers -- right from their smartphone. The company claims that 98 percent of the claims that users' file electronically are processed within one day.

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"We want to provide our plan members choice in how they submit their health and dental claims to us," stated Karen Mason, Senior Vice President, Group - Equitable Life of Canada, in a press release. "More and more of our plan members are using smartphones and the introduction of EZClaim was in direct response to this trend." The company cited a March 2011 survey conducted by Quorus Consulting, which found that one out of three Canadian mobile phone users own a smartphone.

In recent weeks, the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) of Australia’s released a similar SmartClaim app that allows physicians to file insurance claims from their iPhones. Users enter their HIF member details, then use the iPhone’s camera to take photos of invoices that are submitted with the digital claim.

MobiHealthNews covered the potential rise of automated paper-based processes in healthcare this summer, specifically of the rise of the phone's camera to help automate claims processing. One mobile imaging CEO, Mitek’s James DeBello, said that “healthcare is a huge priority.”

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Read the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE -- Equitable Life of Canada just made submitting Health and Dental claims a lot easier and faster by developing the downloadable and free Equitable EZClaim Mobile App for BlackBerry wireless devices. EZClaim for Apple wireless devices will follow shortly.

"We want to provide our Plan Members choice in how they submit their Health and Dental claims to us," says Karen Mason, Senior Vice President, Group - Equitable Life of Canada. "More and more of our Plan Members are using smartphones and the introduction of EZClaim was in direct response to this trend."

In fact, according to a March 2011 survey conducted by Quorus Consulting for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, one out of three Canadian mobile phone users have a smartphone. Statistics Canada also estimates that 78 per cent of Canadian households have a mobile phone, up four per cent from two years earlier.

"Canadians are using their smartphones for everything from email to banking," explains Greg Moore, Director - Group Business Technology. "That is why we are now providing our Plan Members with the opportunity to submit their Health and Dental claims in a way that is easy and familiar to them and their families."

"Equitable Life believes in providing choice and a positive customer service experience," adds Norma Crouse, Assistant Vice President - Group Claims. "As our Plan Members and client expectations change, we have the technology and commitment to change with and for them."

Electronically submitted claims reduce potential mail delays and the chances of having to decipher hand writing or smudged faxes. These claims are paid faster, meaning Plan Members get their payments more quickly.

"Plan Members can submit Health and Dental claims electronically and 98 percent of them are processed within one day" says Crouse. "With EZClaim, submitting claims and receipts is even easier and continues to ensure accurate and efficient claims adjudication."

About Equitable Life of Canada

Since 1920, customers have been depending on Equitable Life of Canada for financial protection. As one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in Canada, Equitable Life® is dedicated solely to its policyholders. Everything we do is focused on providing them with personalized service, security and wellbeing.

Through partnerships with Managing General Agencies and Advisors, Equitable Life offers a wide selection of competitive Individual Life and Health, Savings and Retirement and Group Benefits products to meet a range of financial planning and health needs.


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