The global health crisis has highlighted the importance of population access to healthcare and the need for individuals to take proactive measures to maintain their health and well-being. At the same time, however, it has contributed to widening the protection gap, especially for vulnerable groups, due to the exacerbated cost of living crisis, job losses, reduced incomes, and rising healthcare costs, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry plays an important role in promoting economic, social, and environmental sustainability—or sustainable development by enabling a more accessible healthcare model. In this vein, the PSI Life & Health Working Group, comprised of 10 leading insurers and reinsurers from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, has developed this position paper aiming to answer the problem statement “What can insurers do to close the health insurance protection gap and help facilitate a preventative healthcare model globally? “
Through research and case studies, the paper provides an overview of how life & health insurers can address priority ESG risks across seven (7) themes: health awareness and capabilities, lifestyle and behaviour change, healthy ageing, access for at-risk groups, mental healthcare services, antimicrobial resistance, and healthy environment.
The paper provides a “Four-Point Plan for Life and Health Insurers” – a set of four strategies and fifteen underlying approaches, structured around key ESG themes and illustrated by case studies, that insurers can follow to address the protection gap and drive better health outcomes.
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