Health insurers to get more consumer-centric in 2020

by Leo Almazora27 Nov 2019

Health insurance isn’t what it used to be. Between the accelerating cost of healthcare, commoditization in health insurance, and changing consumer preferences, insurers are being forced to adapt in several ways, including a tighter focus on customer expectations and providing holistic experiences.

That’s one of the key points offered in the new Top Trends in Health Insurance: 2020 report from CapGemini.

“Evolving customer expectations are pushing insurers to react swiftly or risk losing market

Share,” the report said, emphasising how forward-looking insurers are providing a more holistic customer experience.

One major trend that the report envisions is an increasing need for insurers to provide value-added services as price points of their core offerings converge. Aside from an appetite for innovative, lifestyle-focused products and services, consumers are showing an interest in convenient one-stop platforms to address all their health needs.

“The rise in smartphone penetration and the app ecosystem have positioned mobile as a

critical service delivery channel,” the report noted. Increased adoption of APIs also lets insurers collaborate more effectively with other players to develop and introduce value-added services.

The report also predicted an increasing role for chatbots amid a proliferation of app ecosystems and the popularity of messaging apps facilitating the deployment of chat-based features. Advances in artificial intelligence assisting in the development of more sophisticated chatbots, and increasing healthcare costs are forcing insurers to reduce expenses related to customer support services.

“Insurers can quickly scale their customer service operations by deploying chatbots,” the report said, emphasizing benefits such as convenient 24/7 customer support, increased operational efficiency, and more customer touchpoints to boost engagement.

The holistic, consumer-centric approach is also seen to help defray costs from consumers. By driving changes in behaviour and increases in adherence to prescribed medication, wearables and digital platforms can encourage better health and more positive health outcomes, ultimately reducing claims.

“A rise in the sales of activity trackers like health bands, smartwatches, etc. enables insurers

to capture data to understand policyholders at a granular level,” the report said, adding that consumers may be more willing to share personal data if they are offered lower premiums and other rewards in exchange.

“In the long term, an active and healthy member base would help insurers boost

overall profitability,” the report said. “Medication adherence would reduce readmissions and payouts.”