Hector Sobrino
Director of Health Services
AXA
/
View from the Top

Primary Care Services Are the Base of Prevention: AXA Keralty

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 09/14/2021 - 11:35

Q: AXA Keralty offers two products for healthcare. How do these complement each other?

A: Our insurance solution for major medical expenses is highly important to AXA, especially in Mexico. However, this insurance segment is challenging due to its low penetration in the country, which leads to large out-of-pocket expenses for those requiring such care. We want to avoid this by promoting a preventive health culture. That drove us to create AXA Keralty, which operates under a model of care prevention rather than correction through a series of clinics. With both of these services, our major medical expense products and our primary care memberships, we offer complete healthcare coverage and address any possible situation a person might face.

Q: Considering the low penetration of health insurance, how are you promoting AXA Keralty’s services?

A: AXA Keralty is a young product but it offers a unique service for the health prevention market. We are present in the largest cities in Mexico and we want to expand this service to have AXA Keralty clinics in the country’s most populated cities. We promote these services in the same way as other AXA products: through agents, brokers and promoters. 

Q: What motivated your collaboration with CHP to address serious diseases such as diabetes or cancer?

A: We have developed a solid relationship with CHP, which has allowed us to develop a product that brings healthcare to more people through a model that provides them access to the best hospitals in Mexico. After receiving treatment, we hope these patients are satisfied with the care they received and will want to acquire a minor or major medical expenses insurance product.

Q: How is AXAKeralty integrating innovative proposals such as telemedicine into its services?

A: AXA Keralty’s telemedicine product was launched before the pandemic and had a positive reception. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, AXA offered a service through phone or videocall to allow patients to act based on their symptoms in the case of a suspected contagion. This service remains relevant as COVID-19 cases are spiking once more. The service also helps reduce overcrowding of hospitals. Telemedicine will remain a standard because we have seen sustained demand as users prefer its benefits over visiting primary care clinics. 

Moreover, we have partnered with other companies to respond to situations that require contact with patients, such as measuring a person’s weight or taking their temperature remotely. Through these indicators, we can see the progression or regression of the patients’ health and, if necessary, send them and their families alerts to prevent hospitalization because of a serious event.

Q: Chronic disease coverage has been a trend among insurance and reinsurance companies. How attractive is this option for AXA Keralty?

A: We tried providing this service about four years ago through a product for people with diabetes. This service identified those with a controlled disease and offered them a major medical expenses insurance policy.

The insurance sector does not cover people with a pre-existing condition or with a chronic disease but we try to look for feasible options to cover them in the same way a major medical expenses insurance policy would. People with diabetes who are aware of their condition and keep their disease under control take better care of their health than most healthy people. However, Mexico has a large group of diabetics who are unaware of their condition and only seek medical care when faced with something serious. This is a challenge for insurers because we have a harder time looking for healthy individuals and that has stopped us from efficiently reaching this market niche, adding AXA Keralty´s product offer will surely solve these difficulties and provide value to the chronic disease segment.

Q: How are insurtech companies and tech giants coexisting within the traditional insurance environment?

A: Insurtech is still not very strong in Mexico. While many of us in the industry embrace technology and would like to partner with these companies, we still do not see a solid proposal that would fit Mexico. However, AXA is open to the integration of more technological proposals. We are in the process of using AI and cognitive language to support our practices and we are open to more solutions.

Mexico’s health system is unique and we face a problem integrating novel health services. The Mexican market is largely ruled by out-of-pocket patients, who have little knowledge of insurance services for prevention. This lack of awareness of the costs of healthcare is also hard to change. We have carried out studies to find ways to tackle this problem but there is very limited space to act. However, we continue to promote our services and education on prevention as we see great potential in this area.

While COVID-19 led more people to acquire insurance, we only saw growth in individual products as collective policies declined. Later, the economic stress caused by COVID-19 led those with a personal insurance policy to rethink their expenditure priorities and many did not prioritize insurance.

Q: How is AXA Keralty improving its services?

A: AXA Keralty, through our product Planmed and AXA's Major Medical Expense line of products, is offering a joint package to create a complete primary care solution called Cuidado Integral. This product was initially only offered as part of corporate policies but given its significant growth, it will also be available as individual packages under the name Planmed by mid-September.

 

AXA is a French, multi-line insurance company, with a presence in nearly 60 countries. In Mexico, it offers Major Medical Expense health insurance policies as well as primary care services under the name AXA Keralty to its policy holders as well as to the public.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst