Aetna’s recent acquisition of bswift is another example of how insurers are not only reacting to changes in the marketplace, but leading the way to a true consumer-centric health care model.
We all see the trends emerging in the marketplace. At a time when a rapidly increasing number of employers are asking employees to make their own health care decisions and to pay an increasing proportion of the cost, we have the opportunity to transform the health benefits industry to a retail model that is consumer-centric, affordable and convenient.
Because we believe that no matter how you purchase health insurance today, whether on your own, through an employer or as an individual buyer via a public exchange, everyone in the future will purchase and experience health care in a more personalized, retail marketplace.
Private exchanges are a critical component of how we will transform the marketplace. Private health insurance exchange enrollment could approach public exchange enrollment by 2017 – or even sooner. Private exchanges will be the catalyst for turning employees into consumers while we continue our ongoing relationship with employers, and allow us to have year-round engagement with consumers and employers.
Aetna is focused on finding ways to engage with consumers through our exchange solutions. A recent report by PwC found that 43 percent of people would prefer to shop online for health care services.
bswift gives us the capabilities we need to meet consumers where they are. bswift provides us a technology platform that can be used throughout the consumer’s journey and will be an integral part of the new consumer experience. We believe bswift will be a key component that contributes to Aetna’s vision and powers the next generation of our private exchange offerings.
Consumers want an experience that is simple, convenient and affordable. And to do that, we have to start making health care about people.