The future for U.S. health insurers looks bleak unless they make radical changes to how they do business, according to a new report, entitled Healthcare 2015 and U.S. Health Plans: New Roles, New Competencies, released by IBM (Armonk. N.Y.).
In such an unsustainable environment, IBM says health plans should anticipate the following near-term changes along the road to 2015:
- Purchasers of health plans will shift inexorably from employer-based to government-based and individually purchased coverage.
- Consumers of health care will bear increasing responsibility and accountability for their health.
- The healthcare industry will face an increasing array of new healthcare requirements, capabilities and delivery and reimbursement models.
In addition, the report asserts that as consumers take on more financial responsibility for their healthcare, they will demand more flexible products, better customer service, more accountability from health insurers and providers and greater transparency in costs and quality.