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Consumer engagement holds key to future success in private medical health insurance, says 3i Infotech

Consumer engagement remains critical to ongoing commercial success within the private medical healthcare insurance markets and innovative insurers and brokers that embrace web 2.0 will quickly outpace traditional market incumbents, in the battle to attract ‘Generation Y’. This was the conclusion reached by PREMIA Collaborator delegates at a recent conference hosted by 3i Infotech, a global provider of IT solutions.

“Active and informed consumers across a range of demographic groups will reward non-traditional operators,” said Faisal Khan, Director Banking and Insurance, 3i Infotech (Western Europe). ‘This is an industry characterised by risk averse, conservative businesses – by failing to innovate and evolve they risk missing out on a new paradigm of consumer engagement, whereby consumers look to replicate the way they manage their social lives, increasingly using web 2.0 technology, in their need for services. The technology infrastructure is already in place; the challenge for the insurance markets is to continue to innovate in order to engage with a new generation of consumers.

Speaking at the conference, Shaun Matisonn, Chief Executive Officer, PruHealth said ‘Web 2.0 allows Generation Y to be far more discerning in their choice of health insurance provider than ever before. Consumer behaviour is changing and business offerings that take advantage of this medium will be the ones that emerge as dominant players in the industry.’

Key conclusions from the seminar include:

- Start ups that capitalise on Web 2.0 will lead the field

- Businesses recognising that their offerings will be assessed through new media will benefit from targeting their services accordingly

- The ability of businesses to innovate will determine their ability to engage with a new generation of consumers.

In order to meet the boom in internet services, 3i Infotech has launched PREMIA Collaborator, a suite of portals for the insurer, broker, care provider, members and employers that will enable information to be exchanged more quickly, and for the insurance sector to develop solutions tailored to a specific need.

PREMIA Collaborator allows employers to view and maintain profile information, employees to keep up to date with their benefit plans, brokers to manage their business with the insurance company and for care providers to interact with the insurance company.

PREMIA will meet the challenge in the private medical insurance industry by keeping information up to date and accurate for all stakeholders in a manner that is easily accessible and enables transactions to be completed quickly.

Due to its underlying design structure, PREMIA may also be used with existing legacy systems, enabling the service to be bolted on to current platforms, mitigating the need for the expensive replacement.