The concept of health insurance, in general, is objectively simple whereinan individual or organization purchase services or plans to avoid their risk in event of un-avoidable health conditions. Health insurance provides financial security to the people in their health care needs. The health insurance industry is one of the cardinal componentsof the global economy by virtue of the amount of revenue it collects, the extent of the global investment, and most prominently the indispensablesocio-economic role it plays by securing personal and business risk in the event of an unforeseen problems.
In 2014, the macro-economic condition across the globedemonstrated substantial improvement, with disposable income and GDP per capita rising in many countries and both the high income group and middle class increasing in number and financial resources. These aspectsaugur well for the globalhealth insurancecorporations such as United Health Group. Many payers (insurance companies) and investment firms are investing in digitalization of business process that strengthen their affiliations with customers across all geographies and product classifications. Many of the companies such as Cigna Corp. empower both consumers and its own resources to better shop for insurance, easier to understand and compare, and making products more transparent. Furthermore, insurance companies are exploiting on cloud computing, data analytics, and modeling techniques to improve their market penetration strategies, strengthen risk management and decrease claims fraud. Some of the companies are also investing in technology solutions to optimize business processes, regulatory compliance and increase alliance across the organizations. The key issues in healthcare insurance industry or rather more specific to insurance providers include rising competition, generally soft pricing conditions and tight profit margins. Moreover, the economic turbulence in 2008 has affected employer and corporate health insurance business in the developed countries to some extent due to cost cutting and lay-off of employees and slowdown of new recruitments. However, at individual levels,the market has not shown any significant slowdown.
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The U.S. has the largest health care system in the world and one of the biggest health insurances market. The U.S. health insurance market is consolidated by few major players which covers more than 80% of private and public (Medicare and Medicaid) managed insurance. The country’s largest health care provides include UnitedHealth Group Inc., Anthem Inc., Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp., and Humana Inc. The cardinal challenges for existing company or especially from new capital entrants in the U.S. health insurance market include immense competition and rising customer expectations. Success in this environment would be enhanced by expanding digital capabilities, empowerment of customers and distributors with self-service features and making insurance products easier to understand, compare and purchase. European health insurance market especially in EU5 countries (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) is quite stable owing to significant contribution from government. The growth prospective for the private players is limited due to universal health coverage plans in these countries. Furthermore, the rest of Europe health insurance market for private players continue to challenge as economic recovery throughout the region is overshadowed by low business investment rates, and slower industry growth. In Asia Pacific, the growth prospects remain high due to increasing GDP, rise in disposable income, and growing trend toward health security. Furthermore, the growth of the middle class and high net worth population in Asia Pacific presents an immense opportunity for international players to exploit the emerging market.
Some of the key players in global health insurance market include UnitedHealth Group Inc.,Allianz SE, AIA Insurance Group, Express Scripts Holding Company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., AXA, Aviva plc, Aetna, Inc., International Medical Group, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, and Cigna Corporation.