In the latest Bikin’ Brokers podcast, we interview healthcare leaders from Diversified Insurance Group about healthcare insights for 2021. The group discusses what they think 2021 holds for the health insurance industry. They dive into topics like medical and pharmacy trends, customer experience, and employee education. You can listen to the full episode here.
The healthcare leaders interviewed are Jeana Hutchings, Benefits Practice Leader at Diversified Insurance Group; Sean Oliver, Executive Vice President/Partner at Diversified Insurance Group; and Brian Carter, Executive Vice President/Partner of Diversified Insurance Group.
Funding Methodologies in the Healthcare Industry
First, they discuss funding methodologies in the healthcare industry. A traditional, fully insured plan that has been used for years is now moving towards a partially self-insured plan. The goal for everyone in Benefits at Diversified Insurance Group is to make a difference. Healthcare is local and decisions made affect the community.
Chronic Disease Management
The next area of change in healthcare is chronic disease management. The question now is how do you give employers better tools to give their employees so that we can get to the core and try to prevent claims from becoming large claims. Right now healthcare in general is a game of large claims. The day to day of healthcare is not changing as dramatically. How you finance large claims in a way that doesn’t put an employer at risk is going to come into focus.
A La Carte Healthcare Resources
Creating customized resources and plans is the future of healthcare benefits. At Diversified, we have to be the best in class to change healthcare one employer at a time. Pulling in creative solutions, finding different areas to attack claims is important in finding what works. We are trying to give customized options while packaging it all together so it feels like a seamless product. They’re finding ways to bring healthcare innovations into one platform.
Most people agree that the healthcare system in the United States is very complicated. We are hearing a cry for resources and tools to help members make better healthcare decisions and have the support they need. Our hope is to help members curate their experience when they engage in the healthcare system. Focusing on user experience is only going to grow in 2021.
Customers want to save money and have better quality. Bringing it to the forefront will not only create a better member experience, but it will also save money. People make better decisions when they have the tools to do that.
Cost Containment in Healthcare
There is nothing you purchase in life that is quite as complex as trying to navigate the costs of healthcare. Trying to find information around care can be difficult. There are a lot of different places to go for the information. It’s all about finding better ways to point people in the right direction. One major way to do this is to eliminate waste inside the system. Giving them good, solid information upfront will help. It becomes a better experience and cost savings if we can point users in the right direction.
Pharmacy medications have to be part of the conversation about what is happening in healthcare in 2021. According to Reuters, many drug companies raised prices at the beginning of 2021. The article states, “The hikes come as drugmakers are reeling from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced doctor visits and demand for some drugs.”
One of the main things to look at is creative ways to fund specialty medications. Pharmacy costs have to be at the forefront of every conversation. Prices continue to go up and there are continually huge innovations, but at a cost that is unsustainable. From an individual company perspective, companies can do a lot more to manage pharmacy costs. For groups willing to be innovative, there are huge dollars to be saved there.
The biggest thing is that we’ve got to get the employer, employee, healthcare providers all more engaged than they currently are. Everyone needs to have a better experience, it needs to be easier to understand and more affordable. Giving the members more tools price transparency, tools for connecting with doctors, giving them ways to engage in the healthcare system that meets them where they’re at.
Diversified is at the forefront when it comes to healthcare innovation. The Diversified Insurance team would love to help you with healthcare insights for 2021. Go here for more information.