Managed Care Outlook

Opportunity in shift to consumer plans

As enrollment in consumer-directed plans increases steadily, some consultants are predicting a breakout year for the movement. That's good news for insurers, who could see as much as $40 billion in new business in the next five years, according to a new report issued by Diamond Management & Technology Consultants. A host of ancillary services will be needed — services that consumers will want to help them save and pay for health care or services that can help them make informed choices about treatment alternatives, quality, and providers.

Tom Weakland, co-managing partner of Diamond's health care practice, says the immediate goal for insurers is to be first on the market, in order to enroll the most new members. "The ultimate goal of all this is to raise the quality of health care, while lowering the costs. Eventually, the insurers' costs will go down as people live healthier lifestyles." These new services aren't just a redistribution of old services, says Weakland, and they must be presented coherently to the consumer.

New services to support new plans

From infrastructure changes to new payment processing services, consumer-directed health care has the potential to generate business opportunities for insurers and financial institutions.

Source: "Seismic Shifts in the Health/Wealth Landscape." Diamond Management & Technology Consultants

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