Prime Perks: Amazon’ify My Health, Please
Prime Perks: Amazon’ify My Health, Please
Rory Yates, Chief Strategy Officer for EIS, unpicks the pros and cons of Amazon’s new Health Insurance offering
amazon health

As consumers continue to shift to more and more subscription-style services, businesses are looking for a way to simplify the experience and increase retention.

Insurers could do the same with many of the ancillary services that surround life and health. They could even fulfill the simple bundling of insurance services themselves.

Yet most of us still can’t see our insurance in one place, or even the insurance we hold with the same provider.

What was once covered by a single cable or telephone bill is now often made up of several streaming subscriptions. Similarly, software that was paid for once every few years when a new version came out, is now a monthly expense. So these models are happening all around us.

While these changes are generally good or at the very least convenient, they also offer more choice. They’re also more flexible for business development teams, opening up many new value streams.

Larger-scaled businesses have discovered that bundling select services can offer a similar level of choice to the current alternatives, offering the consumer more for their money in the process.  What was once purely about convenience has ended up being better all round.

So, this has led to a new form of subscription model known as the rundle. One way this is happening is by bundling must-have or desireable services to increase the perceived value, and the stickiness of their subscriptions. These subscription bundles are therefore fondly called rundles, recurring-revenue subscription model and bundling And with more subscription models coming online like Walmart+ more of these will appear.

Insurers and healthcare providers generally struggle with this, but really shouldn’t. The idea of participating in other ecosystems to be part of these rundles or “embedded” should be straight-forward. However, most insurance businesses treat each point of distribution as new, and typically integrate at a “policy” level as opposed to at a customer level.

This creates multiple barriers. Not least that the customer relationship doesn’t really sit with the insurer. It remains with the service it was provided in. This should change and change fast.

Amazon’s new service provides many advantages. According to reports, the healthcare experience has a “responsive” care team available at members’ convenience, offering a comprehensive approach to healthcare needs, from preventive care to managing chronic conditions like diabetes.

A statement released by Amazon said the One Medical membership opens doors to unlimited 24/7 on-demand virtual care. Members can engage in quick video chats with licensed providers and use the in-app “Treat Me Now” feature for immediate care for common concerns such as cold and flu, skin issues, allergies, urinary tract infections, and more.

However, I agree with Margeaux Giles of Irys Insurtech fame, who posted her thoughts to Linkedin, saying: “While I am a P&C girl, the thought of my Amazon Prime membership giving me access to Primary Care for $9 dollars a month with zero additional cost is very intriguing.”

Intriguing is the right way to look at this. It is a vast experience improvement in principle. As Neil Lyndsay, senior vice president, Amazon Health Services, says, “When it is easier for people to get the care they need, they engage more in their health and realize better health outcomes.”

The issues will inevitably be clarity on the customer’s understanding of what’s been bought, how to access it, and what it really provides. There’s always terms & conditions to these things. So building in the necessary “friction” into the process is needed to ensure this is avoided.

For now, I too, remain intrigued, and even more intrigued to see the market’s response to this.

I’ve always advocated the need to consider modular producer ecosystem models in insurance. Where, like PayPal or Intel, you work out how to make insurance seamlessly operate through other ecosystems.

I personally welcome this. I think SaaS foundations lead to dramatically new business model potential. When these stories shift from headlines to the back-pages, is when we’ll know that real progress has been made. 
About the author:

About the author

Rory Yates has more than 24 years of business leadership experience spanning client, agency, consultancy, start-up, and private equity roles. As EIS’ Chief Strategy Officer, Rory helps insurers achieve their transformation goals and evolve toward ecosystem-based futures via insurance core systems transformation, including truly personalised engagement, taking innovation from concept to market quickly, and growing efficiently.

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