Ellen Hecker, managing director of healthcare solutions for BNY Mellon Treasury Services, will be serving as the facilitator for a session later today about the changing payment service needs of health insurance companies in the U.S. at the annual conference of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) in Denver, Colorado.
"The insurance industry is dealing with significant changes that are having a major impact on the needs of insurance companies for payment services.
"One significant change is the growth in health care insurance coverage resulting from public policy initiatives like the Affordable Care Act. More people covered means more payments – the increasing volume of payment flows is a considerable challenge.
"But perhaps even more challenging is the social environment in which the increase in health insurance coverage is taking place. Measures to control health care costs are being implemented hand-in-hand with the public policy-driven expansions in coverage. And central to many of these health care cost control initiatives is the concept of encouraging people – whether they're buying insurance themselves, or participating in a sponsored plan – to participate in their coverage more like a consumer.
"Just as in many markets, making people responsible for a meaningful share of the cost of health care is thought to be an important way to encourage enlightened consumer behavior. And more cost awareness and a willingness to consider less costly patient care alternatives is expected to have the overall effect of holding costs down.
"The shift toward more consumer behavior in the health care market has major implications for insurance companies. Payment volumes are increasing, and healthcare insurers are looking for lower cost, alternative payment and servicing models to support this volume while meeting their policyholder’s demands for faster, more accessible ways to remit premium payments.
“Managing these increased payments in a manner that supports their cash management objectives continues to be a major focus for insurance companies. Our expertise, especially as it relates to paper and electronic payments, reporting and information management positions us extremely well to provide this support, and we're excited to be part of this AFP session aimed at helping insurance companies respond to the challenges that have come with the expansion of coverage in the U.S.," Hecker said.