Top health insurance trends 2023

The last several years have been tough on the health insurance industry, with claims activity declining substantially over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, insurers are getting smarter and more sophisticated, embracing new technology to optimize once cumbersome processes — a trend that will only continue in 2023.

In this article, Omnia Health looks at the most notable healthcare trends to watch out for over the next 12 months.

Rise in cost of healthcare benefits

It may come as no surprise, given global headlines, that 2023 will be marked by rising healthcare benefit costs.

A survey by multinational insurance advisor company Willis Towers Watson revealed that global healthcare benefit costs are in fact projected to hit their highest level in almost 15 years because of rising inflation, increasing healthcare consumption, and continued economic uncertainty.

Indeed, the survey found that 78 percent of insurers expect higher cost increases over the next three years, with a 10 percent rise forecast for 2023. The projections vary by region, with an 8.6 percent increase anticipated in Europe, compared to a more alarming 11.5 percent increase in the Middle East and Africa.

Jerome Droesch, CEO of Domestic Health and Health Services at Cigna International Markets, notes the effect these rising costs may have: “Inflationary trends will see an increase in costs. Many insurance companies will be required to shift their business models to increase adoption of disruptive technologies such as cloud computing and applied AI.”

Digitalisation and innovation

Optimizing operations using digital processes is the name of the game, and firms are likely to try a variety of digital and technological options in 2023.

One such option is telehealth, which medical providers and insurers are beginning to adopt to increase access to healthcare and improve patient outcomes —particularly for areas with high numbers of claims, such as musculoskeletal disorders.

“Innovation and new technologies are revolutionizing treatments and driving emergency care as well as the ‘healthcare-at-home’ market,” remarks Droesch.

Automation for efficiency

Insurance firms are also increasingly implementing automation to make processes more efficient. For instance, robotic process automation is a proven method to optimize claims management, automated payments, and policy management, enabling insurers to service more customers more effectively.

ZhongAn, one of China’s leading insurance companies, has already achieved 99 percent automation for underwriting and 95 percent for claims settlement. This highlights the enormous potential of automation for healthcare insurers – but only if it is implemented effectively.

Transformation of analytics

In 2023 healthcare insurance may finally realize the potential of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to process and analyze data quickly and efficiently to gain insights about their customers and predict their behavior.

In doing so they can target insurance policies at the right customers and identify fraud risks and triage claims. Data can speed up the sales process, improve customer satisfaction, and significantly reduce risk.

Jerome Droesch sees enormous potential in AI-driven analytics, noting: “In the coming years, operationalizing AI platforms across certain healthcare workflows has the potential to increase productivity by 10 to 15 percent.”

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