The Best Thing We Saw Last Week is a weekly series bringing our readers insights and analysis from Associated's thought leaders on news across the financial planning, investment, employer sponsored retirement and group health insurance industry.
Last week, Associated's Logan Mondshein noted the growing trend of consumers demanding services from their home and its impact on the healthcare and insurance industry beyond the pandemic.
Moving into April, insurance provider UnitedHealth announced plans to acquire home health provider LHC Group. LHC focuses on senior citizens access to in-home healthcare services rather than costly nursing homes or lengthy hospital visits. The deal is anticipated to close in the middle of this year.
According to Reuters, demand for home healthcare over clinic-based services has increased in the United States, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as patients and caregivers increasingly prefer to access vital services from the safety of their homes.
The pandemic certainly spurred a meteoritic rise in telehealth services across the board as well. Although different from home healthcare, Mondshein noted insurance companies beginning to leverage and expand at-home services as part of their plans.
"Whether it be online shopping or speaking to your physician from your phone or tablet, people want to do things out of the comfort of their own home," Mondshein said. "UnitedHealth is the second major insurer to make a multi-billion dollar purchase of a home healthcare firm."
"What's fascinating is that insurance carriers are already starting to build plans that are centered around telehealth. The young, tech-savvy population of employees tend to find these plans more useful and cost effective," he added.
Mondshein will continue monitoring the impact for clients as insurance providers and plans continue to evolve beyond the pandemic.