19th January 2020

Cloud and innovation will drive improved member experience for private health in 2020

Vinay Chand, Managing Director for Health and Regulated Markets at Civica, discusses the top tech trends that will dominate the health insurance scene in 2020. 

The health sector in Australia is facing intense pressures. With a steady decline in private health membership over the past five years, particularly amongst younger Australians, over 2 million citizens have joined an already overcrowded public health system.  A major issue for private health insurers is how to retain, with rising premiums, the remaining 11 million Australians currently with private health cover. It is clear that innovation is necessary, and technology is key to this with more insurers turning to the cloud and digital innovation for an improved member experience. 

Digital tools will enable private health insurers to deliver innovative solutions

The rise of healthcare costs and an ageing population are putting more stress on the private health insurance sector. Currently, many members don’t feel that they’re getting value out of their membership and while some effort has been taken to address these issues, progress around gap payments and fee transparency has been very limited. By using cloud-based digital tools, health funds can create more innovative solutions that provide their members with a better understanding of what their out-of-pocket expenses for in-hospital care will be, avoiding any potential bill shock. 

Emerging technologies will transform member experience

Robotic process automation will drive efficiencies for health funds, transforming existing regulatory and compliance processes and freeing up staff to spend more of their time on delivering the best experience for their members. New technologies, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, will have a significant impact in the industry by helping health funds and hospitals analyse large and often complex data sets about their members and deliver better customer experiences. These emerging smart technologies also have enormous potential for helping to treat the current epidemic of distrust that exists between consumers and private health insurers. 

Moving to the cloud will enable faster and more innovative change

By moving to the cloud, health funds will be able to make quicker iterations to their products to address real time feedback from their members, such as greater transparency around gap payments. For example, cloud-based digital platforms will enable funds to share accurate and up-to-date out-of-pocket expenses charged by individual specialists.