Munich, 21st February 2022. As digitalization continues to advance in terms of communication and bureaucratic processes, members of private health insurance companies will also benefit from user-friendly innovations. This development also means simplifying work processes for private health insurance, while creating a positive brand perception among current and potential new members. Jonathan Lange, Sales Director Insurance at Gini, a leading company for data extraction from documents, identifies development opportunities and condenses four trends for the digital future of private health insurers.

Assured people expect faster reimbursement of claims

Faster reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs for medical bills, as statutory health insurers already deliver their members for professional dental cleaning, for example, highly increases the attractiveness of private health insurance for (newly) insured people. Currently, reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for privately insured people takes up to three weeks or longer. This process can be accelerated with technology: In the past, members often claimed their medical bills via snail mail, but the trend goes towards mobile apps and photo transmission. The photo quality is a decisive factor for accelerated processing, so it’s crucial to have an AI-based optimization for high-quality extractions to read and classify the information appropriately. After all, this is the most relevant prerequisite for automated settlement.

Fast and easy invoice overview for ongoing touchpoints

Private health insurers are providing a remedy for the confusing collection of receipts and invoices with an app geared to the needs of their customers. Many privately insured people collect their invoices and receipts over a long period. Because of allowances and possible refunds in case they don’t claim, customers often don’t file until the end of the year. As a result, they are forced to set up their manual management for their receipts using folders and spreadsheets. With the help of mobile scanning functions, paper invoices can be uploaded and managed directly in the app. There’s a clear advantage: The insurance app becomes a central collection point for receipts, including a threshold check of whether and when it is worth submitting them. These convenience features are playing an increasingly important role for customers in terms of their choice of insurance. Insurance companies offering a digital collection and payment folder create many touchpoints with their customers throughout the year – even and especially with those customers who would otherwise have no touchpoints with their health insurance at all due to a low annual expense volume. It drives customer loyalty, which is one of the core tasks of an insurance company given increasingly competitive sales and simplified switching options.

Convenient invoice payment via banking app integration

The payment of bills is also cumbersome for many privately insured people in Germany, as this is traditionally done manually through wire transfer. A positive and simplifying development is the native integration of the wire transfer in the insurance app, adapted to the high data protection requirements. The integration connects to your banking app and operates through certified servers in Germany. The payment details are extracted from the invoice documents and photos in the insurance app through artificial intelligence and submitted to the banking app for approval. Right after the transaction took place, the invoice is marked as paid in the insurance app, making it way easier to keep track of what has been paid. One of these highly optimized solutions is Gini Pay Connect. Insured persons, as well as private insurers and banks, benefit from this integration. Insured people save a lot of time – and insurance companies see a competitive advantage over competitors. Banks, currently losing more and more market share to third-party payment services, get the chance to appear right where the payment happens, gaining back user interactions. The integration increases the usage of mobile banking and enables upselling, which is an important building block in bancassurance strategies.

More service and consulting offerings desired: transforming into a healthcare provider

Insured people want to feel they are in good hands with their health insurers, and this applies above all to preventive health care. With early insight into members’ health data, private health insurers can offer them health services in good time, which creates a high service value, and prevents costly treatment. These can include obtaining a second opinion via an online doctor’s consultation, or apps to treat back pain, diabetes, tinnitus, and many more. The offers have a beneficial effect on customer loyalty, reducing the risk of younger people churning to statutory health insurance because of a positive health record. To enable these additional services, mobile insurance apps have to adapt and expand their functionality, taking over the current communication via e-mail or snail mail.
It is also possible to use the data from the submitted invoices to provide insured people directly with the appropriate healthcare services within a customer journey. This can significantly increase the use of these services, generate medium-term savings on the reimbursement side, and at the same time increase customer satisfaction and thus also customer loyalty.

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