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What health insurance can learn from life and auto insurance

Discovery, John Hancock bank on members' personal health data; MetLife Auto & Home all about customer convenience

The process of buying health insurance has never been an easy one. Rarely is it a pleasant process, either. But a wave of consumerism has swept over health insurance, thanks to the rising popularity of individual health insurance plans and the increasingly personalized nature of retail, travel, hospitality and even other types of insurance.

The health insurance industry could learn a thing or two from other industries about how to make the process of purchasing coverage more personalized and convenient for consumers. FierceHealthPayer rounded up examples from the life and auto industries to shed light on how payers can earn members' trust and make the customer experience quicker and more enjoyable.

Gain members trust to access their data

New Zealand-based life insurance company Discovery keeps tabs on its members' activities by rewarding members with points each time they swipe their gym card or play a round of golf, reported the New York Times.

In exchange for sharing medical information such as exercise habits and cholesterol levels, members receive points that, in turn, provide a certain percentage amount back on life insurance premiums.

The concept now is coming stateside. Life insurer John Hancock introduced a similar program recently through its partnership with Vitality, a global wellness company that works with employers and health insurance companies. The idea, as the Times pointed out, has the potential to transform the way life insurance is priced. However, there's one catch: Consumers have to willingly share their health data.