Now Health was launched in 2010 by a management team largely made up of former Goodhealth employees, notably the former Managing director of Goodhealth, Martin Garcia. Upon the sale of Goodhealth to Aetna, a large number of employees left and regrouped under the leadership of Mr Garcia with the intention of developing a new International private medical insurance company, this all came to pass in April 2011.
Now Health's intended USP's were focused around service and operation capabilities, which can only be delivered through outstanding Information Technology. To do this, a green field development of a completely new servicing platform was required to reflect the current requirements of the iPMI world, not an easy undertaking. This has only been made possible by leveraging off the 20 years of experience Mr Garcia and his team have had in the industry and using this to mould the IT platform. Based on Pacific Prime's experiences in the past 12 months, it would appear that Now Health has indeed developed a new leading edge in service capability.
Pacific Prime's CEO Neil Raymond commented; "We naturally take a cautious approach to any new insurers or products in the market in order to protect our clients and typically, we have a wait and see approach. Over the past 12 months, we have gradually built up a client base with Now Health and can honestly say they have exceeded our expectations".
Now Health's new servicing platform has an ability to manage and process all documentation and information to process iPMI at all stages, from initial application through to policy issuance and claims and renewal processing in an effective and speedy manner. Quality customer service runs high in Now's priorities and such accessible, easy-to-use online tools, as well as a platform to chat to an online representative, allow the company to constantly provide the help their customers require. In fact, Mr Raymond believes that Now's system is probably the most advanced in the current market and gives Now Health a clear competitive advantage in today's service driven world.
Also important to note is the fact that Now Health has addressed the compliance issues in all major iPMI markets by going onshore. Now Health recently partnered in China with Ming An to be able to offer onshore RMB policies and the company is also licensed in Dubai. This makes the performance of the servicing and IT platform even all the more impressive operating in a multi-jurisdictional world.
It has not all been plain sailing though, and Now health have overcome several hurdles since their initial launch. However, after a set of false starts and premium adjustments to bring the premiums more in line with the market, the company is really starting to make traction and is now likely to be a key player in the future.
Another small hiccup that Now experienced along the way involved the recent changes to the complications of the pregnancy / childbirth benefit. Previously, the benefit would cover the insured, even if pregnant at the time of application. This was unique in the market as it meant an individual could actually receive coverage for an emergency c-section if deemed medically necessary. Naturally, this sort of benefit is extremely prone to anti-selection and this proved to be the case here. Pacific Prime had voiced concern about this at the time the plan was launched. Reflecting back on this, Mr. Raymond comments; "we were worried about this benefit and its impact on the sustainability of the plan benefits and premiums over the long term, it is clear from large claims that come from anti selection that the benefit would impact the overall loss ratio and Now Health have done the right thing to deal with this issue quickly. It is important that the portfolio can be managed over the long term for the benefit of all involved in it".
Pacific Prime believes that Now health has a strong future ahead of it and can give the company its global stamp of approval. The company clearly has excellent customer service capabilities, well trained and motivated staff and sufficient understanding of the premium benefit balance to build a long term and sustainable portfolio.
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