CUSTOMER GROWTH IN 2020 WAS MODEST AND INSURERS ARE ANALYZING THEIR TRANSFORMATION IN THE HEALTH CRISIS AND HOW TO FACE NEW CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES.
Health insurers have played an important role – and continue to do so – in the Covid-19 pandemic. In the hardest months of the health crisis, they have provided a service to the entire society. However, despite these efforts, the industry acknowledges that customer growth in 2020 was “modest.”
This has been revealed during the round table “Covid-19 and deductible health insurance” held within the framework of the 1st Finance Observatory Symposium, organized by Invertia and EL ESPAÑOL. A meeting that brings together until Thursday, March 25, the main players in the financial sector.
According to Asisa figures , the increase in clients during the past year was 3%, a “modest” figure, in the words of Pedro Razquin, attached to the Presidency of Asisa. “In 2021 we deserve more, but it will not be easy for the economic aspect”, he added.
Despite this slight increase, the CEO of Savia (Mapfre), Pedro Díaz, has pointed out that “ the trend towards health insurance has accelerated with Covid ”.
Escrivá claims to have “about to close” the social agreement for a formula to revalue pensions, indicates that the reforms of the system will be in line with the recommendations of the Toledo Pact.
The new client “is worried about his health. After the pandemic, he values having health insurance to take care of himself , “added Javier Ibáñez, general director of Sanitas. And, the challenge of the future for insurers is “to put the customer at the center of our decisions”, he underlined.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitization in all sectors. Also in health insurance, for which telemedicine has become a highly demanded tool by its policyholders. Not only during the toughest months of the pandemic, but currently this trend continues to increase.
“The form of relationship with the client has changed. The symptoms of this were already evident before the pandemic. With the crisis, this process has been accelerated, which involves digitization from sales, to the intermediate relationship with the client and telemedicine”, Razquin pointed out.
Also for Ibáñez “the main novelty of this phase has been digitization”. For this insurer, “the video consultation has been the tool that has most mobilized patients . In 2019 we had about 300 daily video consultations and in 2020 there were 5,000 daily.
For his part, the CEO of Savia explained that the company “was born as a fully digital platform.” When the pandemic hit, they had been operating for a year and “Mapfre decided that all Savia services would be free for any Spanish citizen in need.” In figures, Díaz has indicated that “ we attended more than 200,000 remote consultations in confinement.”
Some numbers that show that telemedicine is here to stay. It already existed before the pandemic, but its use by customers was not that high. However, the three participants in this round table have agreed to specify that “it is an additional tool that does not replace face-to-face consultation ”.
“We must combine the digital and face-to-face consultation to have a more complete health management”, said the Sanitas representative.
The pandemic has also triggered new players to enter the game . Technological or telecommunications companies have launched health services. “We cannot be calm”, Díaz has said. “ We play it in the relationship with the client. If we do it right we will win the game”.
In this sense, Razquin does not believe that “the same health insurance of specialist companies is marketed or practiced along these paths.”
In Ibáñez’s opinion, “we have the capacity to give the same as other operators, but we have to maintain agility. With our brand and our experience, we believe that they are rules of the game that we have to assume and in which we have to participate”.