The COVID-19 crisis and the enforced lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders worldwide have accelerated the relevance and usage of telehealth, which has major implications for health insurers. The usage of telehealth has been limited historically. For example, 92% of U.S. consumers reported that they were not using telehealth prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this paper, Milliman professionals examine the current status of telehealth in major geographic markets, including the U.S., Europe, and Asia. They develop a framework for telehealth with its key market participants, including a typology of models of virtual care. They also explore insurer proposition design and cost containment.
Two approaches that
governments have taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic are “contain” and “delay.”
The contain strategy is a
rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures to isolate all confirmed cases,
suspected cases and close contacts with either confirmed or suspected cases to
contain the transmission of the virus and avoid further spread.
The less aggressive delay strategy aims to slow down the transmission of viruses so that more medical capacity can be put in place before the outbreak, and hoping that vaccine or other medical treatment are developed during the delay period.
In this article, Milliman’s Guanjun Jiang and Qiuwen Peng discuss the differences between the two methods and the differences in local strategies.
In China, the Million Medical product, which is generally
defined as a high-limit and high-deductible reimbursement product, has become
the most popular medical product since its launch in August 2016. Million
Medical products have removed a lot of restrictions from the previous medical
reimbursement products. For instance, medical reimbursement is no longer
restricted to the listed items in the social health insurance catalogue, and the
annual limit is much higher than before. Instead, Million Medical products
reimburse all reasonable medical expenses, with a high limit, while keeping the
premium affordable with a higher deductible.
While the Million Medical product has grown in popularity, with more and more insurers beginning to offer this option, its underwriting margin has been narrowing. This trend will likely continue into the future. More effort is needed to better manage the product and make it a more sustainable medical reimbursement product in China. Milliman’s Jiang Guanjun and Qiuwen Peng offer more perspective in this article.