The health insurance sector has, of course, changed dramatically in the last few years for a number of reasons, and whether that's for the better overall really hasn't been determined at this point. However, the fact remains that health insurers and others associated with the field are only likely to face more changes in the coming year, and they're going to have to be ready for them.
One of the biggest trends that's likely to emerge in 2015 and beyond is the fact that a large and growing number of Latinos in the U.S. are taking on health insurance coverage for the first time, according to a report from TechCrunch. In all, there are about 54 million people who identify as Latino nationwide, and they make up 17 percent of the population; beyond that, the number is expanding more rapidly than for many other ethnic groups.
However, fewer than 4 percent of healthcare providers are equipped to handle people who primarily speak Spanish or have limited understanding of English, the report said. Moreover, because 20 percent of all uninsured American residents fall into this category, that means that there may be more insurers themselves can do to bridge these gaps and potentially improve both their business and the coverage of these people in particular.
What else is going to happen?
Likewise, it seems that more companies are going to start offering consumers options when it comes to finding health insurance coverage, the report said. For instance, Walmart is planning to expand its own recently launched health insurance exchange. Further, it seems online merchant Amazon will continue to make itself a more dominant presence in the health product industry, improving the availability (and potentially lowering the cost) of things like medical supplies and potentially even some over-the-counter drugs, whether they're for individuals or businesses that are in the health sector themselves. That, in turn, could be a major disrupter for several different aspects of the health industry overall.
The more health insurance companies can do to anticipate coming trends in the industry and get out in front of them, the better off they're likely to be in terms of compliance and opportunities for improvement in 2015. That may also apply to potentially connecting with a larger number of prospective clients as attitudes toward having such coverage continue to evolve among people of all backgrounds across the country.