1 December 2022

Advisor Spotlight - Roger Martin

Welcome back to our advisor spotlight series, where we explore the motivations and insights of Osara Health’s advisory team. These leaders have embodied the work ethic, dedication, and innovation that make up the foundation of our mission.

In the previous installment, we learned about the challenges that care providers face, and the importance of innovation and empathetically-focused care protocols.

This time, we caught up with Osara’s Corporate Advisor Roger Martin, a highly influential insurance actuary with over 30 years experience. In our talk, we discussed how the insurance industry has changed over the years and the desperate need for innovation, tangible value, and the utilization of the increasingly important power of technology in the US.

In our next talk, Roger Martin dives deep into the realities of the insurance industry. In this piece Roger considers the most important factors that are affecting the care that individuals who suffer from cancer and their families receive, the challenges that insurance companies are currently facing, as well as why Osara’s unique approach is set to make waves in the US.

We are very excited to have Roger on board, as his insights are invaluable towards enabling Osara to help carriers not just succeed, but excel when assisting cancer patients with claims. With our focus on utilizing technology and enabling a seamless and compassionate care experience, Roger’s partnership with our Osara team is set to help us revolutionize the way insurance is handled in cancer care in the US.

Challenges Facing the Industry with Roger Martin

The insurance industry finds itself in an interesting moment, currently. With so many companies offering very similar products that do not differ in many ways other than the number of products that are offered, the opportunity for improving value and competitive advantage has never been greater. At present, the main challenge facing the industry is the proper utilization of technology and the ability to create more value from products. More specifically, there are three main areas this challenge is attributed to which include:

  • Efficient claim management

Managing disability claims can be a challenge for insurance companies, as they must evaluate the validity of claims and determine the appropriate level of benefits without sacrificing the value they provide to claimants. This process can be complex and time-consuming, and executives must ensure that claims are handled efficiently and fairly while being mindful of keeping costs low.

  • Seamless customer service

Executives in the disability insurance industry must prioritize customer service and ensure that policyholders receive prompt and fair service. This can be a challenge as customer expectations continue to evolve and companies realize the need to adopt new technologies and channels of communication that improve their overall value offer.

  • Competitive advantage

The disability insurance industry is competitive, and executives must stay abreast of industry trends and innovations in order to stay competitive. This can include offering new products and services, implementing new technologies, and finding innovative ways to reduce costs.

Over the past 10-20 years, the insurance industry has not experienced much in the way of innovation. This is especially true when it comes to the proper utilization of technology.

Technology within the industry

Many insurance companies are still using very similar legacy technologies in their stacks that are becoming outdated. For customers, having access to a seamless mobile experience, a simple process for filing claims, and receiving compensation is non-negotiable.

Technology also offers insurance companies the ability to improve their internal processes as well. Automation is becoming increasingly mandatory in order to remain competitive, as the manpower costs and ability to improve decision making can help executives lower costs while simultaneously improving value and efficiency within their organizations.

Diving deep into cause and effects, I’ve found four questions which are important considerations within the insurance industry:

  • How do we reduce costs?
  • How do we help employers afford these plans?
  • How do we cut manpower and utilize technology/automation?
  • How do we reduce the friction involved in transactions?

So, not only should it be a focus to provide a great experience for claimants, but it is also essential to work with insurance providers to help them develop more innovative methods for lowering costs wherever possible. The lower the cost for the provider, the lower the cost for the employer - which leads to lower costs downstream for the employees.

The US insurance sector is one that is ripe for innovation at the moment. On the heels of the Fintech revolution, insurtech providers are currently working to find the best way to help insurance companies integrate tech into their service offerings to cut costs, improve customer experiences, and overall allow claimants to get the help they need to get back on their feet.

The Importance of Insurance in Cancer Care

Insurance helps provide peace of mind to those diagnosed with cancer by allowing them to focus on recovery instead of worrying about how to pay for their treatments. It also allows families to spend more time supporting their loved one rather than worrying about medical bills or debt associated with medical treatment.

Understanding the key role of insurance in this process and how dramatically it can affect the patient journey is going to be a key point to consider for executives in the coming years.

Cancer care has a significant impact on the disability care industry, the most important of which include:

  • Increased Costs

As the cost of treating cancer rises each year, insurance companies are being forced to take on more financial burden in order to cover the medical expenses related to this serious illness. Taking a quick look at the statistics, according to the American Cancer Society, the estimated cost of treating cancer in 2020 was nearly $172 billion dollars.

This can have a significant impact on insurance companies as they are expected to cover an increasing portion of these costs, which can cut into their bottom line. As a result, premiums have steadily risen over the last couple decades due to increasing demand from people looking for coverage that can meet their financial needs. These increasing costs lead to more pressure to find ways to streamline processes and remove inefficiencies in the claim process in order to stay competitive.

  • Claim Management

Due to the fact that enabling a great patient care experience and comprehensive coverage for cancer patients can drive up costs, finding more creative ways to manage claims and provide value to customers while minimizing costs is more important than ever. Companies are faced with the difficult challenge of helping to facilitate this process rather than place even further burden on an already difficult process— all while still creating a financially realistic plan to support this.

Insurance plays a crucial role in the cancer treatment process, and Osara’s vision is to help insurance companies in the US discover new ways to utilize technology to improve their ability to cut costs and enable a more compassionate and seamless care experience.

Osara’s Opportunity in the US Market

With these challenges in mind, it’s clear to see the need for adaptation in the US market. Increasing the value that customers receive while ensuring that costs remain affordable may be a challenge, but it is one that can be overcome with an innovative mindset and a proper strategy.

US providers will need to harness the power of technology and automation if they are going to be able to improve processes and create more value for claimants in the coming years.

Osara’s focus on using technology to cut costs, providing real value to end users, and placing a focus on compassionate care is poised to fill a much-needed gap in the industry at the moment. By helping individuals suffering from cancer take a more active role in their holistic health and get the support they need has been shown to demonstrate improved health outcomes and help individuals and their families more quickly return to a sense of normalcy.

How Carriers Can Differentiate Themselves in the Market

There are two main ways that carriers will be able to differentiate themselves: cutting costs and utilizing technology.

The interesting point here is that both of these factors go hand-in-hand with one another. Utilizing technology to its fullest modern capabilities is able to completely transform the way insurance carriers are able to provide value to claimants.

There are a wide range of processes within the insurance operation that are able to be automated, and the more that these companies can get creative with this new technology and work with insurtech providers to put it to effective use, the more competitive their offerings will be.

By using the power of automation and data, carriers in the modern market can reduce manpower, improve decision-making capabilities, and help ensure that claimants receive prompt assistance and a high level of care. This ensures that claims are handled more smoothly, which creates happier customers and an overall lower bottom line.

Honest Advice For Incoming Insurance Professionals

By taking the time to learn and understand the products you are selling, you can better improve the surrounding processes and improve the experience for the people you are helping. It’s all about understanding the end value that you are providing to the individuals that these products help.

About Roger

Roger has dedicated more than 20 years as an insurance actuary to help advise insurance companies on how to maximize the value they offer, invest their money efficiently, and ensure that claimants get the help they deserve. During his career, Roger spent most of his time in the group disability marketplace, where he saw firsthand the importance of these plans for individuals who were afflicted by cancer.

According to Roger,

I truly believe in the importance of group disability insurance and what it provides its members. Helping claimants get back to work and return to a normal way of life is extremely rewarding work!

After he discovered Osara, its need for actuarial experience, and its like-minded mission, the decision to join our cause and contribute his high-level insurance knowledge was a no-brainer. The mission of Osara to empower individuals and carriers alike through compassionate care and the use of technology is exactly the type of approach that he believes will be able to transform the insurance industry for the better and enable more practical and seamless care experiences.