SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Arches Health Plan announced today that it has partnered with the University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering program and the Sorenson Center for Discovery & Innovation in the creation of a consumer focused education app.
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.
To explain the real benefits of health insurance, Arches turned to University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program in creating a mobile app that gamifies the principles behind insurance, and explains that coverage can lower out-of-pocket costs for individuals.
"We felt the EAE would be a great fit for this endeavor. The University of Utah has a long history of being a market leading developer of games, graphics, and digital entertainment. EAE has won numerous awards, and has consistently been ranked among the best video game programs in the country" Ms. McGarry-Schumann went on to say, "Working with the students directly allowed us the unique opportunity of understanding what this age group needed to hear."
The student team developed the Arches app. "Save Your Bacon." The gamification app 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 is a Diamond Sponsor for the Sorenson Center's Games4Health Challenge Grand Prix on March 24, 2014, where the EAE students will be entering the Save Your Bacon game into the Grand Prix. "We are grateful for the confidence that Arches has shown in having our talented students create a commercially valuable health game," said Chris Wasden, the Executive Director of the Sorenson Center, "and we look forward to helping other organization address their business challenges through apps and games, that can also be entered into our Grand Prix."
About Arches Health Plan:
Arches Health Plan is a member-governed, non-profit health insurance option for Utah residents. The company offers individuals, small businesses and large groups lower-cost, high-quality care with a focus on developing cost transparency, increased efficiency, and its unique member-governance structure. Plan members may directly participate by electing the board of directors, become board members themselves and provide input for quality improvement, cost management, and service delivery. Arches plans are marketed through ArchesHealth.org, appointed brokers, the healthcare.gov, and Utah's Shop Exchange Avenue H.
About The University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program:
Entertainment Arts & Engineering is the overarching term we use to describe the interdisciplinary work between the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts. This work encompasses the wide array of fields in video game design and development, and students from both colleges work closely together throughout their academic careers. This partnership between disciplines reflects the current state of the interactive entertainment business world, and our students leave the program prepared to work effectively in a team environment.
About the Sorenson Center for Discovery & Innovation at the University of Utah:
The Sorenson Center is part of the David Eccles School of Business and provides the Sorenson Sandbox where students become inventors and innovators through hands-on and experiential education, training and support – our objective is to liberate their creative genius. The focus of the Sandbox is on digital innovation addressing the emerging needs in the Internet of Things and Wearables. The center drives student and industry innovation through its annual Games4Health Challenge events, the only university challenge of its kind in the world, which provides over $25,000 in prize money to students that create health related games and apps.
SOURCE Arches Health Plan