China health insurance a 'huge blue sea market'

Tracy Li
Report by Ernst & Young and CPIC Allianz Health Insurance says China's nascent health insurance market offers great potential, but companies also face significant challenges.
Tracy Li

China’s nascent health insurance market is a huge “blue sea” with strong potential, but also significant challenges, said a new report by Ernst & Young and CPIC Allianz Health Insurance Co Ltd released on Thursday.

With China's population aging, more people suffering chronic diseases and a growing middle class, needs for health insurance are becoming more diverse.

Health insurance companies must become more efficient and seek more external cooperation, the joint report said.

Building a commercial health insurance market is not only crucial to developing a multi-level market but is also a key part of China's "Healthy China 2030" initiative — which makes public health a precondition for economic and social development — said Jack Chan, EY‘s China financial services managing partner.

Although the market is developing rapidly, Chan said major challenges remain to break previous patterns and rethink the industry's approach.

Yang Xiaoling, chief digital officer at China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd said new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing are changing or are about to change the industry's business model.

As health insurance develops more complicated products and more customer contact, utilizing science and technology becomes more important to achieve better risk control, Yang said.

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