The Healthcare and Insurance Sector is going through a transformative change. The sector is dealing with grave issues because of the pandemic. For example, there is uncertainty about benefits and claims. Before the pandemic, insurance did not cover the costs of PPE kits, gloves, and other precautions taken with infectious diseases. With COVID-19, these costs were a significant portion of the entire hospital bill. So, insurance providers had to include these costs in the claim as well. The sector will undergo many significant changes like this while building a wellness program and insurance benefits after COVID-19.
Here are going to be the changes in Healthcare and Insurance benefits after COVID-19
Change in people’s mindset
India’s Healthcare and Insurance Sector is massively underpenetrated. Insurance penetration in India is a meager 3.69%. However, healthcare markets after a pandemic will see an improvement in this area. People have started taking healthcare seriously after the pandemic hit India. We will see many more people signing up for insurance products online.
The pandemic meant that it was not safe for people to go out. Moreover, there was a strict lockdown in place when the pandemic hit India. People had to buy health insurance online. A digital distribution strategy is now crucial for the sector. The providers were forced to make their online operations smoother. After the pandemic, the entire process starting from buying insurance to filing claims will have shifted online.
We are already seeing emerging healthcare providers like Onsurity. These companies are looking to provide a seamless digital experience for their customers. The future of the healthcare in India is digital.
There will be a momentous change in the healthcare markets after the pandemic. Insurance has been growing rapidly every year. Thus, a digital ecosystem that makes it easier for people to submit claims and get benefits will be introduced. Customers want to claim their insurance money as quickly as possible without any hassles. Manual processing of claims will be replaced by an automatic system that will make decision-making and disburse claims in no time.
This assertion is based on the fact that IRDA has already directed insurance providers to make decisions on claims within 30 days of receiving the claim. Healthcare and insurance providers that do not comply with this directive will be charged an interest rate of 2% above the bank rate on the amount.
Under the traditional products, COVID-19 expenses could not be claimed in many cases. Therefore, IRDA had to intervene and direct insurers to launch plans that covered COVID-19. Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak were launched for this purpose. They cover the cost of PPE kits, gloves, etc., in case of corona treatments.
We will see more innovative products like these in the future. Product design has been a major barrier to the digitization of healthcare and insurance. In the future, this limitation will be dealt with, and the health insurance growth rate will soar to new heights.
Currently, insurance products are designed in a complex way with complicated mitigation clauses. Moreover, there are confusing variants of the same kind of products. Due to these reasons, consumers often have a hard time selecting the best product for them. Post pandemic healthcare markets will have better people-friendly products.
We will see insurance providers simplifying policy documents. This will make it easier for people to read and study their policies. The policy benefits will be supported by terminologies and precise documentation that are easier to understand.
Telemedicine is a term used for the dispensation of health-related information and services via the digital medium. It was safer to contact health care professionals online than face-to-face. Thus, insurance providers started offering telemedicine coverage on their products as well. It is estimated that 70% of consultations can be replaced with virtual care.
The telemedicine industry is here to stay even after the pandemic. It is efficient, saves time, and reduces cost. The doctor-patient ratio in India is disappointing. It stands at 1:1800, much worse than the 1:1100 recommended by the WHO. We need to increase our efficiency since we have a severe shortfall in the number of doctors in the country. Seeing the importance of healthcare after pandemic, telemedicine will be a common practice after COVID-19 subsides.
Healthcare market size will increase drastically after the pandemic. Of course, what is to be seen is just how long the pandemic will last. The changes that were made due to the virus will change this industry for the better.