Innovations of the Month: Arches Health Plan (Utah)

This “Innovations of the Month” was featured in the October 31 edition of News from NASHCO. To read the full newsletter, please click here.


Arches Health Plan is the CO-OP serving the state of Utah. During its first year, Arches was known for its unique outreach strategies, especially some of the ways it communicated with younger adults who may be purchasing health insurance for the first time. Arches is continuing this trend with its recent announcement of the creation of a consumer focused education app.


gamification appTo create the app, Arches is partnering with the University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering program. The mobile app will “gamify” the principles behind insurance, and explain that coverage can lower out-of-pocket costs for individuals. The app, called “Save Your Bacon,” allows users to describe their lifestyle, and to choose whether or not they would like to be insured. It then takes the user through the course of a year in which they encounter accidents, and actual health costs brought on by their lifestyle. The game allows the person to understand the full impact of health care services on their budget.


Arches reason for developing the app is simple: people aged 18 – 34 make up roughly 40% of the uninsured in the Utah. Of those, more than half don’t see health insurance as a necessity for them, or their families. This statistic alarmed the staff at Arches Health Plan, and as a company they became focused on educating this demographic.


“In younger Utahns can be a belief that ‘that couldn’t happen to me.’ We felt it would really hit home if we related the reality of health issues and accident probability to their lives,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Tricia McGarry-Schumann.


McGarry-Schumann also believes that working directly with current students will make for an even better finished product. “Working with the students directly allowed us the unique opportunity of understanding what this age group needed to hear,” she noted.


Arches plans to launch the app when open enrollment begins on November 15. We are very excited to see the finished product and its impact on young consumers in Utah.