AIG brands Smart Health ‘knock-on benefit’ as families take advantage of services amidst NHS crisis

AIG Life’s (AIG) latest usage data from Smart Health suggests whole families are using the insurer’s added-value services as an essential tool to manage their immediate preventative health and wellbeing needs.

Related topics:  AIG Life,  group benefits
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
11th March 2024
"Removing worries and restoring peace of mind, just as protection insurance is designed to do."
- Alison Esson, Senior Propositions Manager at AIG Life

AIG Life’s (AIG) Smart Health platform offers policyholders 24/7 unlimited access to phone or video appointments with UK-registered GPs, mental health consultations with psychologists, second medical opinions, nutritionist & fitness plans, and online health checks.

These services have been accessed over 100k times since 2019.

Notably, AIG’s latest usage data from Smart Health suggests one in eight (12.5%) of those who’ve made use of these services have done so to benefit children and young people under the age of 18.  Consequently, the provider has branded Smart Health as a ‘knock-on benefit’ for partners or children who aren’t insured by AIG but have access to these services via a family member.

16% of Smart Health GP appointments in 2023 were booked on behalf of a young person, with 9% of these bookings securing immediate medical assistance for a child aged five or under. Meanwhile, mental health counselling and second medical opinions made up 11% of the services used by young people.

Analyzing Smart Health trends, AIG found it’s six core integrated wellbeing services are in use when convenient to family life. For example, virtual GP appointments (either by phone or video call) were the most popular service (67%), with almost one in five (19%) taking place at the weekend. The insurer suspects these weekend appointments occurred so that families didn’t have to immediately turn to NHS urgent care centres.

Furthermore, 43% of GP requests in December 2023 were outside typical working hours (9am-5pm). AIG believes this insight demonstrates Smart Health’s accessibility for shift workers, employees not wanting to disrupt their work schedule, and those struggling to secure local GP appointments. Alternatively, this popularity may have been driven by a need for next stage health support with 41% of users attending a Smart Health GP appointment also securing a prescription, sick note, or a referral to a medical specialist.  

According to a survey conducted amongst 4,150 Smart Health users, 55% booked a virtual GP appointment so they could stay at home instead of visiting their local GP surgery. Concerningly, 19% of these users would have waited until symptoms got worse before asking for help if they didn’t have access to Smart Health.

“When a person is affected by ill-health, it impacts their whole life balance, including their family and their job,” explained Alison Esson, Senior Propositions Manager at AIG, "so it makes sense that they’re increasingly turning to on-demand services like Smart Health.”

She believes the latest usage data from Smart Health proves that families want to move quickly to get health matters under control and to restore family equilibrium: “they value the convenience.” Alison implores the industry to share what’s been learnt from Smart Health’s impact so far “to remind customers and employee scheme members of the whole family healthcare they have.”

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