There are many changes going on within the insurance industry due to technological advances and how the consumers want to conduct business. Blockchain is one of those pieces of high tech that will change the health insurance industry for the better. Before we get into that, though, we first need to understand exactly what Blockchain is, and how it works.
Blockchain was first introduced in 1991 as a research project, but it was not in use until Bitcoin crashed onto the scene in 2009. It is a simple system that differs from the way data is stored today in one big way. The information that is inputted into the system will be stored within a block. Once that block is full it will connect itself to the previous block that is full, forming a chain of information that cannot be altered.
Of course, that is a brief explanation of Blockchain and how it works, but for this article that will be enough of an understanding to link it to the benefits that the health insurance industry will gain from it.
- Claims-Whenever a customer files a claim against their policy the agent will be able to gather information and decide in half the time that it takes now, maybe even quicker. Blockchain acts as a public ledger that the agent can access in seconds. All pertinent information to the claim can be looked at and analyzed. The policy itself, the police report if there was one, the hospital visit that caused the claim to be filed, and everything else pertinent to the claim in question. Everything is at the agent’s fingertips, and since Blockchain cannot be altered, there is no need for them to second guess any of the information that they are looking at.
- Efficiency-Efficiency means profits, and to the insurance agent money makes their world go around. Smart contracts will allow the consumer the ability to enter their own information and sign the policy into effect, without every having to get dressed. The smart contract will gather all the information entered, compare it to all the other information within the block chain, and follow the parameters set to offer an insurance policy that fits the situation and is designed for the consumer.
- Automation-Every aspect of the private health insurance policy will be completed through one program. Contract signing, claims, payments, and updates will all be centralized into one area. It will free up the agent to work on other tasks that they have had to neglect, such as cold calling new customers. In theory automation of the industry will lower the cost of the premiums offered to you.
- Security-Blockchain technology makes it almost impossible for people to fraud the system. Since the blocks are shared between everyone on the system it is not possible for even the most skilled hacker to change information in the block before it becomes part of the permanent chain. Less fraud means less claims being paid out, which in turn means lower premiums.
Blockchain will change the face of the health insurance industry. The public ledger that it forms will make all aspects of the business easier for everyone involved. The consumer has asked for ways to obtain and manage their health policies, and Blockchain has filled the need.
It will be more consistent and accurate once the businesses in the insurance industry, and the medical providers involved in the care, all get onto the same page. And by the same page it is meant that they all need to embrace the innovative technology and use it for every aspect of their industry. Once it is the common way for them to conduct business it will secure all the information for the consumers and the companies into one public ledger that can be shared to the people that need access to it.