Viewpoint: 3 insurer-tech trends to watch in 2017

The health insurance technology industry is gearing up for a year of increased consumer awareness and use of digital shopping platforms, as well as possible restructuring of the health insurance marketplace under ACA reform.

Sally Poblete, founder and CEO of Wellthie, an e-commerce platform for health plans, shared with Becker's Hospital Review three insurer-tech trends she expects will mark 2017.

1. Prevalence of digital insurance technologies will increase. Ms. Poblete said all insurance stakeholders must enhance their customers' digital experience in 2017 to bring in and maintain customers. She said platforms that are simple, modern and make the purchasing experience "transparent, trustworthy and efficient will dominate the marketplace next year."

2. Consumers will shop around more. Ms. Poblete said with healthcare moving toward a consumer-centric model, consumers looking to purchase insurance will shop for different policies to find the right one. "Consumers are beginning to realize that they can expect the same level of satisfaction and responsiveness in insurance that they could out of any other industry and — as a result — will continue to shop around until their demands are met," she said.   

3. Brokers will play a bigger role. As small business owners decide whether to offer their employees a group health plan or shift workers to the individual marketplace, Ms. Poblete said brokers will become go-to experts in the insurer-tech industry next year. "Given the anticipated regulatory change in health insurance, particularly around a partial repeal of the ACA under [President-elect Donald] Trump, brokers will become an even more integral part of the consumer's decision making process," she said.   

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UnitedHealthcare eyes up to 11% rate hike for small group plans in Arizona
Humana, FullWell enter value-based agreement in Colorado

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