It’s no secret that tech industries frequently overlap with other fields and sectors. For instance, fintech has disrupted the insurance sector thanks to the development of insurtech products.
Additionally, fintech is beginning to play a significant role in healthcare. Fintech doesn’t simply add greater convenience to consumers’ lives. It also provides many social benefits. These include making it easier for traditionally unbanked and underbanked individuals to access financial services.
Another benefit of fintech is helping people afford medical treatment. The following are key ways this may play out in the near future:
Establishing Savings Accounts
People are more likely to develop certain illnesses and health conditions as they age. The body simply changes as people get older. That’s why people who are elderly may need medical treatments for conditions ranging from arthritis to cognitive decline.
Affording these treatments isn’t always easy. Many people find it challenging to save for a comfortable retirement. Having a fixed income when you need regular medical care can prevent you from seeking proper attention. Some people stop taking prescribed medicines simply because they can’t afford their copays.
This is an issue all generations need to be aware of. Taking steps to save up for medical treatment needs in retirement is something young people may overlook, but shouldn’t.
Fintech is stepping in to address the issue. Startup founders are creating products designed to help Millennials and other young people create easy-to-manage savings accounts for the specific purpose of saving money for the medical care they might need when they retire.
Some might argue young people have long had the opportunity to establish such accounts. Why do they need fintech?
Many people who don’t create retirement accounts for these purposes fail to do so because the process is complex and time-consuming. Busy young professionals may feel they don’t have the time to create accounts. They may also feel they lack the available funds in which to regularly deposit money they don’t plan on using for decades.
Fintech helps by reducing fees and streamlining the process. When saving for future medical treatments is easy, more people are likely to do it.
Fintech doesn’t just help people save for treatments they may need in the future. It’s also helping people get the care they need right now. This is particularly true in emerging markets and developing nations, where many citizens have modest incomes and lack access to health insurance.
Specifically, fintech startups are beginning to offer loans to people who may not have the money to pay for treatments they need right now. As with all fintech lending platforms, loans can be offered more efficiently than traditional firms. This is crucial when people need to pay for medical care. They simply may not be able to wait for a lender to generate a loan. With fintech, that’s not a concern.
Fintech startups also make it easier for people with limited credit history to access these types of loans. Traditional firms rely on credit scores and other common metrics when determining if applicants are worthy of their loans. Fintech companies leverage other sources of data to fill in the gaps.
Researchers have found this type of service may be of great value to people from minority backgrounds. For various reasons, citizens from minority or otherwise marginalized backgrounds are often charged higher fees and rates for loans and related financial services. This can put them in difficult financial situations when they need medical treatment.
Fintech-based lenders do not engage in these practices. They use data insights and new technologies to offer competitive loans and services to people who may otherwise have found it difficult to obtain services from traditional financial institutions.
Fintech in general benefits people who have limited access to financial services. Often, these limitations are simply the result of geography. Banks and lenders may be closing brick-and-mortar branches in their regions, or they may have never created branches in those regions to begin with.
That’s why fintech startups that help people save and pay for medical care often focus on connecting with users from such areas. Even if you qualify for a traditional loan to pay for medical treatment, you could have difficulty obtaining one if you need to rely on the presence of a brick-and-mortar business in your area. This is yet another issue fintech effectively addresses. Anyone with Internet access can use a fintech service, regardless of location.
These are just some of the ways fintech is changing healthcare for the better. By leveling the playing field and helping people save for retirement, startups are doing much more than simplifying basic financial services. They may actually save lives throughout the world.