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  • Data Points in Cyber Space Might Just Help Predict and Improve Healthcare Outcomes

    I love numbers, stats, analytics…I mean, I REALLY love that stuff. I could nerd out for hours on statistical information. So, when I happened upon (or, more accurately, it happened upon me) a new underwriting strategy that didn’t have anything to do with individual health questionnaires, claims data, or loss ratios, I was beyond intrigued.

    A Unique Spin on Employee Benefits Underwriting

    Rewind to a few weeks ago when I was cleaning up my email inbox and came across a random marketing email. The email teased the ability to quickly underwrite groups without claims data or individual health questionnaires — essentially expediting the RFP process into seconds versus minutes, days, or weeks (all the while producing a more efficient and accurate output).

    If you thought our personal and/or behavioral data was only being used for sales and marketing techniques presented to us daily by the behemoth tech brands, think again, friends.

    Technology and AI Could Impact Healthcare Outcomes

    With the advancement of technology and our ever-growing dependence on it, over the years we’ve given permission to peek into our personal lives with just about everyone we do business with.

    Have you ever read those privacy/permission agreements when you sign up for a new app, new membership, credit card, etc.? Me neither. But in just about every one of those engagements, we’re providing a clear view into our daily activities and behaviors.

    There are literally thousands upon thousands of data points on each and every one of us just floating around in cyberspace — from what we “like” or “follow” on social media and what movies or books we purchased/downloaded to what we buy in the grocery store, how often we check in at the gym, what kind of shoes we like, our alcohol purchasing habits…and the list goes on and on.

    Every single one of these actions says something uniquely specific about us, our routines, behaviors, and interests. And there are organizations and technologies built specifically to aggregate that data and process it through artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and predictive modeling — all in an effort to get a clearer picture of who we are and how we tick.

    To be clear, I’m not trying to scare you. This isn’t a rant about big brother or big data. This is the future of underwriting in employee benefits, and the future is already here!

    This type of technology is already being used by some insurers, administrators, managing general underwriters (MGUs), and consulting firms. I have no doubt it will only snowball from here.

    The Future of Employee Benefits Underwriting Is Exciting

    From my perspective, I think about all the positives that will come from the massive amount of data that is being collected and analyzed.

    • How much more accurately can you predict lifestyle, behaviors, and future risk with thousands of data points versus several dozen data points?
    • How much faster can we leverage this data to “teach” us about our own health trajectory and to avoid future disease?
    • How can this degree of insight improve financial outcomes for both employers and employees?
    • How much more financially competitive will this make our healthcare system?

    The possibilities appear limitless, and that has me excited for the future of our business.

    How about you? Are you seeing this already or want to learn more about it? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out, and let’s get the conversation started about where we can take the future of Employee Benefits!

    Published on: 08.30.21

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Data Points in Cyber Space Might Just Help Predict and Improve Healthcare Outcomes