With the onset of the pandemic, the health insurance industry has gone through a sea of changes over the past two years. The pandemic has made everyone aware of life’s uncertainties and unpreparedness in the event of any relevant health emergency.
Since the start of Covid, health insurance premiums have been the main driver of the non-life insurance industry. Despite the prolonged nationwide shutdown, the health sector has grown significantly by 34.2% year-to-date (YTD) July 22 compared to the 9.9% year-to-date growth seen in July FY21.
While we have seen rapid growth in the health insurance sector in general, some of the key changes/trends to watch for for the coming year are:
Steady growth momentum: The growth driver/path will continue as the health insurance category gains consumer interest. With a major shift in consumer perception of the industry, the focus has gradually shifted from sickness insurance to health insurance. The main reason for this change was the high cost of hospital treatment which made people understand the need to purchase health insurance. Consumers are now beginning to view health insurance as an essential investment that provides beneficial health coverage.
New and innovative offerings: There is a growing opportunity for the industry to introduce new and innovative product offerings that meet unmet customer needs. A large portion of customer segments still do not have specialized health policies for them. There is currently a huge gap in the market waiting to be filled with innovative and customized products. For example, offers for people with certain conditions from day one, offers for outpatient expenses, looking at certain segments of clients whose needs are not yet fully met, etc.
Shared Health Claims Platform: The Swasth Alliance, a collaborative, was launched last year by the Swasth Digital Health Foundation (a not-for-profit initiative) to leverage digital technologies that will support healthcare integration and improve health outcomes. This will enable the creation of a digital backbone for the delivery of integrated healthcare and also make communication between all stakeholders seamless and bring standardization of the whole process.
Providing coverage for the missing medium: According to a recent Niti Aayog report, while Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and state government schemes provide comprehensive hospitalization coverage for the lowest 50% of the population, another 20% is covered by insurance Social health and voluntary private health insurance. The remaining 30% of the population is free of health insurance; It is called the missing medium. Ayushman Bharat’s existing infrastructure can be used to extend cover to the missing middle population.
New Distribution Channels: We will see the emergence of large consumer technology platforms as health insurance distribution channels. With the growing need and value of health insurance, these new channels will surely help in an improved customer experience along with enabling the creation of a coordinated offering with personalization. This will also help create a transparent and personal form.
Technology and digitization: There will be an increased use of technology and digitization to create new opportunities, not only for customer acquisition, but also to help manage the customer lifecycle. If health insurers move to remote sales and service teams, customers are also becoming very adept at leveraging digital services at every step of the typical health insurance process. Customers are now widely beginning to use health insurance companies’ websites and apps to access information and process orders. We expect this rise in the use of digital services to be a constant component of the local insurance industry.
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