Insurance industry to boost health management with technology

Tracy Li
Insurers believe efforts will also help realize Healthy China 2030 blueprint, which includes plans to strengthen disease prevention and health management.
Tracy Li

The integrated development of health insurance and health management will be a key measure to implement the Healthy China 2030 blueprint, and insurers vow to leverage technologies and data to offer better health services for their clients, industry insiders said on Thursday in Shanghai.

In 2016, the Chinese government issued an outline for its Healthy China 2030 Plan and this July, the State Council unveiled an action plan for the initiative which detailed objectives to promote healthy living. These policies will focus on disease prevention and health management, aiming to improve public health literacy in the next 10 years, said Jin Xiaotao, former deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission and president of China Health Information and Healthcare Big Data Society.

Functioning as a supplement to the national basic protection scheme, China’s private health insurance segment has seen explosive development in the past few years. Premiums for the sector grew by around 33 percent year over year to hit 397.6 billion yuan (US$56 billion) in the first half of 2019, according to data from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

However, the country’s health insurance sector remains unbalanced with critical disease protection plans accounting for a too-large share, and challenges like isolated medical information still linger, said Shang Jingguo, secretary-general of the Insurance Association for China.

“The integrated development of health insurance and health management will be a key measure to implement the Healthy China 2030 blueprint,” he noted.

To better implement the initiative, underwriters are actively exploring technologies to offer active health management services for their clients, instead of just making payments after the occurrence of a disease.

Ping An Medical and Healthcare Management Co Ltd (Ping An HealthKonnect) vows to synergize its strengths and resources in insurance, medical care, technology and data to provide whole-process health management services for clients.

The Shanghai-based firm has built a tech-powered service platform for managed health care, which will offer one-stop smart solutions and technical support for insurers and medical service providers in operations like intelligent pricing, underwriting and risk control, said Hong Juan, deputy general manager and chief operation officer of the company.

Its core technologies include cloud computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Ping An HealthKonnect also has rich experience in social health insurance and as of the end of June, it had provided services to social health insurance fund managers in over 200 cities, covering over 800 million insured members.

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