Insurers: Getting To Know The New B In B2B2C

Startups are increasingly counting on partnerships with payers and insurers to accelerate the commercialization of their solutions.

Health 2.0 was recently invited by AXA and the International Federation of Health Plans (IHFP) to be part of a meeting in Paris with 15+ European/global health insurers. On March 14th, we took this opportunity to organize a Health 2.0 Paris meetup and present several solutions designed to be implemented or reimbursed by health insurers.

The presentations generated a strong interest and fueled a lively discussion. Insurers had a lot of questions for our panel of presenters… but, not necessarily the ones you would expect. We often think of insurers as payer organizations that only care about saving costs. However, the ROI question was not raised once.

The questions were, in fact, a lot more basic:

  • Does it work?
  • How do you engage people in using it?
  • Why should we trust you when you say you’re the best in the market?

They seemed less concerned about ROI or cost savings than the fact that adopting these solutions meant engaging their brand in the partnership and asked questions like:

  • What if it didn’t work?
  • What if it failed to engage and deliver on the promise?
  • What if the solution ended up ranking one of the worst and making them look bad to their customers?

Startups often attempt to become one-stop-shops for health and wellness. They build comprehensive suites that cover everything: smoking cessation, alcohol, and other addictions, physical activity, stress management, etc… Most of the insurers in the room have already had one or several of these modules covered, which raised another question: how do these solutions integrate with what they already had in place?

They were also more interested in adopting “the best” smoking cessation app, rather than adopting a one-stop-shop that included “a” smoking cessation module. So, when it comes to selling to insurers, highly specialized, and modular solutions may have an advantage.

Building their pipeline of solutions is certainly NOT a priority. Insurers receive more information from startups every day than they can digest.

How can insurers and startups build a more efficient approach to meeting each other’s needs? Join me at Health 2.0 Europe, as I discuss this topic and more with insurers on May 3-5 in Barcelona!

Pascal Lardier is the International Executive Director of Health 2.0.

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