'If tech companies can help bring the insurance industry up to speed with the use of data and predictive analytics, then consumers are all for it,' says one insurtech leader.
Are consumers ready to buy health insurance from Jeff Bezos? Maybe not the man but quite possibly his company. A January 2022 survey by insurtech provider Breeze suggests yes. While hypothetical and based on a small population, answers like these are one of many reasons why healthcare is making up for lost time on digital transformation. The gravity of its challenges and just how far behind other industries healthcare is are driving a rapid pace of innovation led by incumbents, startups, corporate investors, and yes, non-traditional competitors.
But who would consumers trust most? For health insurance, the answer was Amazon. The Breeze survey found that:
- 55% of respondents would buy a hypothetical insurance product from Amazon over traditional carriers.
- This compares to 46% from Google.
- Only 38% would buy health insurance from Meta (Facebook).
Google parent Alphabet is already a player, launching Coefficient Insurance (now Granular Insurance Company) through one of its subsidiaries. But it's Amazon that has the most street cred. True, the company has tried and failed twice with health insurance, first with Amazon Care, then its Haven joint venture. But Amazon Care is still around as a virtual care platform, one that is finding traction with payers and providers.
The company is also a player in the one area most healthcare consumers can agree on, and that the federal government is struggling to do anything about: controlling skyrocketing prescription drug prices. And while some analysts question whether Amazon Pharmacy will truly be a disrupter, it's clear that the company's medical services wants to make substantial investments in multiple aspects of healthcare delivery.
Breeze's Director of Communications Mike Brown puts it this way: "Consumers are very receptive to the idea of tech companies and other outsiders getting into the insurance industry. The modern shopper wants things fast, streamlined, and completely online, and that applies to financial products too. If tech companies can help bring the insurance industry up to speed with the use of data and predictive analytics, then consumers are all for it."
Conversely, would consumers buy a new type of insurance product from an existing healthcare provider? Nearly 60% said yes, favoring CVS Health or Walgreens as a provider of life as well as health insurance. Aetna customers may not realize they are already doing so. The insurer merged with CVS Health in 2018 and their affiliation has tightened through Aetna products linked to CVS' HealthHUB services.
To this, Brown adds: "Whether it be for disability, life, or auto insurance, the majority of Americans would be interested in buying these insurance products from non-traditional sources that could help simplify the process."
See the full Breeze survey results and infographics here: www.meetbreeze.com/blog/buy-insurance-amazon-facebook-google-survey/.
Laura Beerman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.