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ITIC Global: Solutions to increasing healthcare costs

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James Page, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, AIG Travel – Issues and Trends

Page urged us to remember that the coronavirus pandemic was a “tsunami” that swept through health care and made it difficult to predict trends globally — but it was a “shared experience.”

He added that the “long tail” of the pandemic could lead to higher health care spending thanks to the return of some provisions that had been postponed at the height of the pandemic.

There are related medical cost issues, as seen in China, where access to medical care remains limited, with some receiving no care or staying in hospital because it is difficult to estimate costs. In the rest of the world, bed availability is not only impacting care, but also costs, further compounded by labor shortages due to Covid-19.

Medical costs have risen with – but not at the same rate as – inflation. This spike does not equate to payments opening conversations with partners about repricing and negotiation, Page continued.

Meanwhile, the expat community is becoming “more and more accustomed to local medical treatment that is automatically sent home,” Page said, and the overall demographics haven’t changed — but the volume is increasing. With employee expectations being managed by their own HR for how their care will unfold.

Now that travel insurance normally treats covid as a typical illness, there is still an ongoing evolution, with measures to include wellness and prevention measures. Page asked, “How do we write our premiums for individuals to demonstrate that their health and wellness plan makes them less risky for us?”

François Jacquemin, Managing Director, Foyer Global Health – Cost reduction

“The Covid is still there physically and psychologically”, recalled Jacquemin, adding that it is “something that impacts us on a daily basis”. However, he added, it has also created greater awareness of health insurance needs, urging the customer to seek greater clarity regarding the details of their coverage and accelerating this evolution.
When it comes to cost control and quality versus price, it’s “not the cheapest solution, but the right one”. “We want to give the right service to our client, taking a long-term view,” he said.

Part of the overall progression involves innovation around digitization, “without digitization there is no future – data is essential”.

A “predictive model to refine pricing” used for cost containment, François said: “The more you use, the better artificial intelligence (AI) can work, the more control you have over your portfolio. »

Juliane Kause, Chief Medical Officer, Everbridge – The role of pre-travel medical risk assessment

Kause shared where she saw travel insurance become post-pandemic, how travel management risk should evolve in the future, and how traditional medical assistance should move from “reactive” to “proactive” using assessments. health risks.

Using a case study, she looked at the cost of overseas medical assistance pointing out that there are “a lot of hidden costs that don’t focus on new models – that focus not only on cost control but also on well-being”. And how, when using pre-trip risk modification, a “reasonable adjustment” could be made.

Kause also reminded the public that pre-travel medical risk assessment “should be an integral part of travel risk management,” saying “healthy habits lead to lower costs for all of us.”

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