Understanding gaps in the health insurance ecosystem and role of technology in bridging them & More Latest News Here


 

Health insurance is highly underpenetrated in India, despite the extensive need for health protection across the country. In the last two years, people have realised the importance of health insurance, amid the Covid pandemic. However, there is still a huge demand-supply gap in the health insurance penetration. While there is a need for awareness, most consumers face challenges with accessibility of health insurance policies. More than half the population lives without the security of a health coverage.

Around 50% people are covered under government-sponsored schemes, under which consumers cannot avail the best medical care. Many people in India are covered under group health insurance cover and this number surpasses individual health cover. While the government, insurance manufacturers, distributors are working extensively towards increasing the health insurance penetration; there is an increasing need for technological interventions to make insurance more accessible to consumers, across the country.

In the last few years, technology has proved its prowess in the insurance category. The last two years especially, have witnessed a massive growth in the digital insurance model, which eventually eased out the processes for insurance manufacturers, distributors and end consumers. We have seen how digital has been successful in making the end-to-end insurance life cycle seamless.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been assisting the insurance sector with claim processing, by decreasing human intervention and turnaround time. From offering quick, customised services and experiences to consumers, especially during the purchase process, AI/ ML has helped insurers execute quick claim turnaround cycles with claim settlements being more accurate and error-free. Processing claims through submission of documents online, claim settlement across all categories, intimation of claim incidents through WhatsApp, have changed insurance for consumers. Consumers too face lesser hassles, due to the customised experience and quicker settlement processes, added with the fact that they can check their claims history and stay up-to-date on the payment schedules.

Tech based channels have made insurance a personalised experience, much like the e-commerce virtual platforms. Tech, through big data analytics, has helped companies understand personalised consumer behaviour, their family needs and helped them reach out with more accurate need-based insurance solutions. For example, an insurance advisor can guide the consumer with the right health insurance policy, based on the health history of the consumer/ his family members. Such customisation has been helping consumers choose the right kind of policy, catering to the consumer’s specific needs.
Even the insurance regulatory body (IRDAI) introduced new policies recently, to make health insurance process more flexible and accessible to consumers. The regulator has been flexible in allowing InsurTech companies experiment with tech-based insurance products, so that the insurance penetration can increase in the country. The Health ID introduced by the government can become a great step towards improving underwriting process in the health insurance eco-system. IOT health devices too are playing a key role in gathering of big data and hence helping with underwriting processes.

InsurTech is playing a huge role in mitigating the insurance demand-supply gap, be it in the health insurance category or any other category. Technology is trying to make the entire system efficient with better process and by introducing InsurTech products which can help insurance reach to the masses. However, the entire insurance eco-system needs to be open to support the transformational changes and accept the new age of insurance distribution. Only then InsurTech can perform at its optimum efficiency.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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