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Embrace The New And Evolving Ecosystem

Here are some key drivers that will help health insurance companies pave a way for a robust future

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Given the fact that health insurance enetration in India is abysmally low, there is immense potential for health insurance sector in India, and with government’s favorable policies, this market may witness substantial growth in coming years. As we move forward, government sponsored health insurance may remain a dominant theme but private insurance companies need to play an important role, as they not only bring in the much needed investments, but also better practices, competition and global insights. Here are some key drivers that will help health insurance companies pave a way for a robust future.

Wearable devices: One of the primary drivers is the popularity of ?tness wearables that help insurers to understand the risk profile of the customer and other health parameters. On top of the demand for ?tness bands and smart watches, we are now also seeing the advent of smart clothing with thread sensors that detect albumin and proteins in sweat as well as monitor heart rate, breathing and stress levels. Of course, we are bene?tting from a host of apps, which help us monitor our health, ?tness and stress levels. So, increased focus on adoption of wearable and portable devices will help insurance companies to prepare itself for the future as consumers are also now seeing value for health insurance in illness and in wellness.

Claim management efficiency: Companies should commit to effective and speedy claims settlement, while maintaining the highest levels of client service, satisfaction and focus in claims handling. Here, big data analytics can help streamline the efficiency of health bene?ts claims by revealing claim trends and streamlining claims processing. Patients get better returns on their insurance claims, and caregivers receive payment faster. Future investment in blockchain technology should create an even more accurate and resilient record keeping industry.

Customer segmentation: The industry needs to engage with the consumers and be aligned with their diverse needs. Companies who have strong offerings that speak to the unique needs of consumer segments have the greater opportunity for differentiation and success. Proactive customer engagement is important as this correlates with ability to provide better healthcare solutions, and improve health and wellbeing of the communities that people live in, and ultimately profitability for the companies.

Make it affordable: Health insurance should be available for all at a price point that is affordable. The base and entry level products should be affordable with options to choose additional coverage. Several public-private health systems exist, but quality healthcare should be made possible by strengthening the healthcare infrastructure. Also, private participation along with government reforms can go a long way in providing health insurance to all including the under privileged.

Integrated health ecosystem: Health insurance offerings need to integrate with the larger healthcare ecosystems. Health is today driven by different platforms such as apps and wearable devices. Ayurveda could see health covers specifically targeting alternative traditional forms of treatments such as Unnani, Siddha and Homeopathy. Emergence of pilot products offering customised benefits to those individuals who have diabetes, cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Change is here to stay and health insurance will have no choice but to embrace the new and integrate with the evolving ecosystem. With proper planning, implementation and monitoring of the healthcare delivery, India can move forward in ensuring universal health coverage for every citizen. However, this needs sustained financial support from the government, and, of course, a deep focus on consumer behaviour and innovation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Sandeep Patel

Sandeep Patel, MD & CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance

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