2016 will see a significant rise in the use of private GP services, widespread adoption of digital communications and an increase in self-funded healthcare schemes as insurers and employers adapt to the changing landscape of delivering healthcare, predicts Iain Laws, managing director, healthcare and group risk at Jelf Employee Benefits.
He commented: “Wellbeing will continue as the key theme as the industry looks to improve access and delivery, and employers look to engage employees and manage budgets, we predict three main areas that will be the focus of attention. These areas are going to bring a lot of change this year and the delivery needs to be joined-up to ensure clients and members get the best service.”
Jelf Employee Benefits’ predictions for Healthcare in 2016:
- Increased use of the private GP
We have seen insurers start to turn to private GP networks as gatekeepers for specialist referral and out-patient benefits. We will see this ramp up significantly in 2016 as insurers increasingly see the value in introducing an engaged stakeholder as the gatekeeper to support the stratification and simplification of the claims process.
- Digital explosion for the UK market
No one can escape the rise of the digital era, and it will be utilised to full effect throughout this year as a means for insurers and employers to engage with all customer types. We will see an increase in social media; platforms rolled out to support engagement and administration; and new and existing apps being developed by providers. The focus will be on wellbeing engagement, improving ease of use and adding value to both claiming and non-claiming customers.
- Increase in self-funded schemes
The significant hike in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) from 6 per cent to 9.5 per cent and the potential for future increases will see an increased adoption of self-funded schemes through the use of healthcare trusts as employers look to find ways to manage their budget while still maintaining cover for their employees.
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