A Look Inside the 2018 ICA Conference

Let’s be real for a moment. Claims management, like the rest of the insurance industry, doesn’t see much in the way of rapid change. Sure, there are external forces (healthcare, regulatory, technological) that impact what we do. But the pace of change is far from head spinning.

There are also many of us in this business who have been at it for a long time. Seasoned professionals who legitimately know their stuff. So it’s no small feat to convince us to get out of the office to talk business and – gasp – maybe even learn something.

The International Claim Association managed to pull off both when over 400 claims professionals gathered in Marco Island, FL earlier this month to discuss trends and issues impacting life and health claims. While the program had its share of tried and true topics, a few in particular stood out to us.

  • Under the general heading of “digital”, this space is deservedly seeing more attention in our business. Use of open source and social media, data science, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics were all well represented subjects at the conference.

While we’re still early on in determining how to put these tools to use in claims, there have been some initial tests which have shown the potential. Is it unrealistic to think by this time next year we could have a clearer picture? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • As important were excellent current updates on ERISA and Social Security. There was a helpful discussion on strategies for implementing the major changes to DOL requirements, along with suggestions to balance these against the challenges of meeting time constraints. In the world of Social Security there’s much to understand about how our political environment impacts the program and potentially our industry and claimants.

Staying current and hearing from experts on both these topics is vitally important. In fact we covered the ERISA topic ourselves earlier this year on this blog.

  • Lastly, and perhaps more selfishly, I enjoyed the Long Term Care and Critical Illness sessions. Both are areas where SALT is becoming proficient. These markets are each experiencing changes that could mean a need for additional attention and support for claims management.

We expect that disability claims expertise will be in more demand for LTC in particular as this products begins to see more claims activity in the coming years.

Oh, and by the way, I’m told the weather outside was beautiful. Somehow knowing we’re learning and networking in a beautiful setting makes it that much more enjoyable. If you missed out, we hope to see you at the 2019 conference!

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