Insurers’ extreme focus on employee and customer experience is forcing TPAs to adapt their offerings beyond commoditized services by leveraging digital technology.
Some third-party administrators (TPAs) are building the requisite capabilities in talent, technologies and data to address the changing needs of the insurance industry, but most TPAs lag behind. Everest Group reports that the top 10 US TPAs suffered a significant drop in year-on-year revenue growth, falling from 20% for 2017-2018 to 5-10% for 2018-2019. Everest Group predicts the slowdown will continue in the year ahead under the impact of the COVID-19 crisis as TPAs look to battle against the falling demand and the changing requirements of insurers.
“Insurers’ extreme focus on employee and customer experience is forcing TPAs to adapt their offerings beyond commoditized services,” said Skand Bhargava, practice director at Everest Group. “Most of the digital-led use cases that TPAs have implemented thus far are low on the sophistication scale when compared to the use cases implemented by insurance IT or Business Process Outsourcing providers. However, some leading TPAs have showed signs of change, making intensified digital investments in more new-age partners and technologies, such as the use of IoT sensors, artificial intelligence, predictive image analytics, telematics and predictive modeling. As a result, these more innovative TPAs are reaping differentiation in the market and positioning themselves for success amidst recessionary pressures because of the greater value they are providing for their clients. Going forward, those TPAs who deliberately commit to well-executed digital transformation will not only deliver a more progressive value proposition to clients but also secure the relevance of the overall industry, especially considering the current environment.”
Third-party administrators are commonly used by health insurance providers as well as enterprises or healthcare organizations who fund their own health plans for employees. TPAs assist these organizations with claims administration as well as premium billing, customer enrollment, and other day-to-day operations of insurance programs.
Currently, the Top 10 TPAs in the U.S command only 3-5% of a $270 billion market, with some of the largest TPAs functioning on single-digit operating margins and very few keeping pace with digital transformation. By leveraging digital technology, TPAs can improve margins, drive differentiation, address operational challenges, enhance talent throughput and ensure client retention. In the longer term, digital adoption can help TPAs adjust to changing risks and move up the value chain to manage critical tasks.
Everest Group shares these findings in its recently published report, Third Party Administrator (TPA) State of the Market Report 2020: Industry Facing an Urgent Mandate to Transform. This report examines the global TPA market, particularly the property and casualty (P&C) and workers’ compensation insurance segments, including changes in client demand patterns and delivery requirements from TPAs, and the role and adoption of digital levers.
- For property and casualty (P&C) and workers’ compensation insurance, TPAs are primarily restricted in the value chain to end-to-end claims management.
- For employee benefits—both life and pension (L&P) and health insurance—TPAs play a more end-to-end administration role.
- While there are multiple growth drivers for the TPA industry, such as expansion in the scope of services and carrier outsourcing, there are a number of impending challenges as well that restrict the growth opportunities.
- Intelligent automation, mobility, predictive analytics, drones, and cloud-based modern claims platforms are the five key digital and technological enablers for the transformation of the TPA industry.
About Everest Group
Everest Group is a consulting and research firm focused on strategic IT, business services, engineering services, and sourcing. Our clients include leading global enterprises, service providers, and investors. Through our research-informed insights and deep experience, we guide clients in their journeys to achieve heightened operational and financial performance, accelerated value delivery, and high-impact business outcomes. Details and in-depth content are available at http://www.everestgrp.com.