Kam segajo začetki zdravstvenega zavarovanja?; Kateri so izzivi inoviranja na tem področju in katera podjetja lahko pri tem izpostavimo kot primer dobre prakse?… so vprašanja, na katera odgovarja avtorica Tanja P. Foršek, slovenska pravnica iz Haaga, v prispevku, ki ga objavljamo.
Uredništvo spletne strani IZOP – Inštitut za zavarovalništvo in pravo v Mariboru
Health insurance ~ from ancient to futuristic times~
There is an old Hippocratic aphorism, with a perhaps romantic rhetoric “wherever the art of medicine is loved there is also a love of humanity.” A nod in the direction of humanitarianism in insurance industry? Perhaps. Especially in the health sector.
When we think about health, its most probably ranked among our top notch priorities. Nothing is as priceless and for shure nothing can be more expensive. When we put an insurance on it, we may not keep it, but definitely we manage an expensive healthcare not to avoid us when we most need it.
Health insurance is a topic that has been lately in the news very often. With people searching the newest options available for their families. The maxima; to enjoy a good health and consequently a good quality of life is however a common knowledge since the era of Babylonians.
The sixth’s King in the Amorite’s first dynasty of Babylon, Hammurabi’s (1792-1750 B.C) intent was to improve the quality of his citizens lives. As he thrived to create a more advanced civilisation a set of laws, known as Hammurabi’s code, was born.
The first legal documents which statute that even then people had a form of health insurance, to get the necessary medical care.
Hammurabi’s idea of a program was set with different levels of care based on status and contributed money. As all good ideas usually spread with a lightning speed, so it was back then. From the Middle East the concept spread through the Roman Empire and Europe. Though with slight cultural changes to fit unique needs of each society. Until nowadays the principle literally remained the same. Some policies and procedures have changed along the way, however. But “pay in advance for medical services and be guaranteed to receive them when needed” remained.
Nonetheless, to provide a good, efficient and adequate health insurance for all we need a change, that could improve the ideas of Hammurabi in its best possible version.
Innovation in health insurance
Ideas are, as to be said, the seeds of innovation. Like wheat provides a material for bread, it takes a lot of work to prepare the fields to grow the wheat, long before it becomes a bread. Innovation is a similar story. Instead of raw ideas we use a strategic ones. The main focus and purpose in innovation, which is, to be said, as a funnel. But the trick, however, is to making it work in knowing what’s supposed to happen inside the funnel. That, of course, doesn’t mean you should start by creating a lot of ideas. The main urge is to provide costumer friendly policy, with innovation in its lower possible price. To create, discover and develop ideas, refine them into useful forms and use them to earn profits, increase efficiency, reduce costs and create a business value. From incremental improvements, breakthroughs (such as new products and services, cost reduction, efficiency improvements, new ventures and new business models) innovations spur.
As a result, we show that efficient, competitive and complete health insurance for innovative products ( i.e medical devices, new drugs, patented procedures) may lead to the better innovation procedures, though with exsistent moral hazards. Conversely, incomplete insurance markets in this context lead to inefficiently low levels of innovation.
Today we are in the midst of a unrivalled revolution in health care, thanks to two great milestones. First is digital health and second mitigating runaway costs, which bring in new payment options. A time for innovation has begun. It’s not easy and doesn’t come without a struggle, but the change is literally knocking on our door.
Patients will soon demand similar levels of access and transparency for insurers as they do from health care providers. Is it worth the risk? Well, if we want to stay in the market, we have to thrive. Even though we need to disrupt existing market dynamics.
Innovative health care insurance companies
Leading insurers are adopting different innovation strategies, seeking partners, to drive a real change, customers, within and outside of the health insurance industries must escalate culture initiatives, seek partners or spin out groups to support disruptive innovation, and build solid relationships with nontraditional customer experience influencers.
New examples of innovation are already starting to emerge. Though not in a form of mature incumbents, rather there is a fresh approach and outlook, embodied in start ups.
One of it is company named Oscar. A New York based tech start up, founded in 2013 as a company that aims to humanize healthcare driven by innovative technology, design and data delivered to customers in the simplest way possible.
It also rewards its customers for healthy behaviors, provides free calls to physicians, communicates in plain english and has a great prices transparency.
Another one is called, Simply Insured. A boutique insurance brokerage, lounched in 2012. Which specialises in the health and medical sector, offering a simple solution for small businesses. In plain English it explains what is or isn’t working about your current plan and help you identify cost savings and hidden costs. It analyzes thousands of insurance policies in an attempt to find small business owners the best value for the price and coverage for their unique needs and handles all forms of paperwork automatically.
Least, but, for shure, not the last one is Zenefits; a San Francisco based company, established in 2013, who’s mission is to help small businesses to reduce their expenditure for health care insurance per employee.
Usually it goes like this; health care brokers act as a middleman between the company and health insurance provider and charge a high commission to do so. Here steps in the Zenefits, offering companies free software program that manages health insurance, plus other HR functions like retirement and payroll.
Tanja P. Foršek
Prikazna slika: Freepik