Sickness to wellness: How new age medical insurance is disrupting the industry – The Financial Express

Share Article

By Amrit Singh
Health insurance is a sector that is ripe for transformation. The key driver of this transformation is the limitation in traditional health insurance products, that have been focused on providing for people only when they are sick, with no incentive to help them stay healthy. In other words, there was a lack of focus on preventive healthcare. The pandemic became a forcing function for this change in focus for the insurance industry.
The pandemic has enhanced the importance of holistic wellbeing as people are looking to protect themselves proactively from getting afflicted by COVID-19 or any other disease. This means they want to get proactive medical tests done, do more OPD consults, enroll into fitness and wellness programs, seek help in managing their diet, among other things. In the medical insurance industry, the focus is now on creating plans that cover this holistic view of health, with more focus on preventive health vs. sick care. Modern insurtech startups are innovating alongside traditional insurance companies to create these custom packages tailored to consumer preferences.
Investments in insurtech surged to $10 billion in 2021, up 60% from 2020.
Health insurance packages now provide personalized services, dedicated health plans, digital health coaches and real-time monitoring and intervention of key health parameters. They also provide care coordination among other digital benefits. This has resulted in more OPD products. All major insurers today have either launched their own teleconsultation services or they’re working with third party provider networks and care networks, to provide care for the employees that they insure. This is also beginning to show up in retail insurance packages as well. Buyers of group health insurance like HR leaders want to buy plans that cover OPD and are looking for plans that can both serve their employees but also do so affordably.
The implication of bringing in an OPD network allows the insurance company to start to control the costs of care. Having a good OPD network enables you to keep people healthy, prevent claims, especially in the infectious disease category which adds up to more than a third of all claims for insurers. Greater focus on OPD facilitation has resulted in prevention of critical illnesses as well, thus helping health plans capture incremental profits due to muted claims costs and increased efficiencies.
The move from sickness to wellness also has an impact on the economy. A study by Deloitte estimated that mental health issues cost Indian firms $ 14 billion a year. An earlier study by ICRIER indicated that 25% of Indian companies lose 14% of their annual working days due to employee sickness. This represents both a human cost as well as an impact on company productivity and profitability. New age medical insurance companies are working together with people and with industry to make sure that the shift in focus from sickness to wellness generates a true health dividend for the country.
(The author is Co-founder and CRO, Loop. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the
Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.


You might also like

Surviving 2nd wave of corona

Surviving The 2nd Wave of Corona

‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort