AIG Life hits customer demand milestone for value-added wellbeing
Julie Hughes-Edwards (UK), 07701 326438
- Customers seek 53,000 GP appointments through Smart Health
- Nearly half need prescriptions, specialist referrals and sick notes
- A fifth of users are uninsured children and young people
LONDON – Friday 30th June 2023 – AIG Life Limited has today shared data revealing people are now regularly using free services that come with their life insurance to get help from a GP, instead of going to their local NHS doctor.
Smart Health – a service provided by the UK life insurer that comes at no extra cost to help people manage their wellbeing remotely – has delivered over 53,000 phone and video GP appointments from its launch to the end of April 20231. This means customers and their immediate families, who may themselves not be the insured with AIG, didn’t need to turn to their local GP practice.
Smart Health by AIG was launched in August 2019 to give everyone who has its life, critical illness and income protection insurance, including existing policyholders and members of employee benefits or group protection schemes, 24/7 access to services that help manage their wellbeing – and at no extra cost. Importantly, AIG provides Smart Health access not just to insured individuals but to their partners and children too.
The six integrated services – GP, mental health counselling, second medical opinion, nutrition and fitness programmes plus an online health check – are delivered by Teladoc Health through the Smart Health app and can be used anytime, from anywhere in the world.
AIG Life’s customers and their immediate families have used Smart Health services 85,000 times2 since launch – 35,000 times in 2022 alone3 – and more than one in three patients (37%) have used it 3+ times.
People are consistently turning to it, and virtual GP appointments are the most popular service in part because of the next stage assistance they provide. By the end of April 2023, almost half (47%) of people attending Smart Health GP appointments also got a prescription, sick note or a referral to a medical specialist.
Using a Smart Health virtual GP appointment instead of turning to their doctor first meant 55% of people were able to stay at home, helping to ease pressure on the NHS, according to a survey of Smart Health users conducted by Teladoc Health4.
Where they needed additional assistance, 13% said they used their appointment to get a referral with a specialist, and 8% then visited A&E. Less than one in four (24%) said they then booked an appointment with their own GP.
The same survey found if patients hadn’t turned to the UK-registered GPs available through Smart Health, almost a fifth of people (19%) would have waited until it got worse before they asked for help.
It helped people return to work sooner too. A third (33%) who were absent from work said, in the Teladoc research, they were able to get through their illness swifter following a phone or video consultation with a Smart Health GP.
Alison Esson, Smart Health Propositions Manager at AIG Life, said: “What seems to appeal is that the insured customer, as well as their partner and children who aren’t themselves insured, can get immediate medical help or set their mind at ease if something is wrong. It allows them to take preventative steps that can help look after their long-term health, and can help ease pressure on our NHS, without people picking up extra living costs. In some cases, seeking professional assistance early has helped saved people’s lives. So it’s worth financial advisers reminding clients of the extra services they have access to – whoever their insurer is.”
A trusted tool for families
Smart Health is provided as added value to the life insurance, critical illness and income protection insurance originally purchased to encourage preventative healthcare and help families manage their wellbeing. All the indications are that the virtual wellbeing service is becoming a trusted support tool for families alongside their existing healthcare arrangements, as:
- 20% of GP appointments take place at the weekend, though the service is most popular on Mondays (18% of appointments)
- 40% of GP call requests are outside typical working hours (8am to 6pm), making it helpful to shift workers, individuals who don’t want to disrupt their working day and people struggling to get an appointment at their local GP practice.
The most common reasons for a GP appointment through Smart Health range from low mood or anxiety, for help with a fever or infection, with skin conditions, viruses and headaches, to chest pain and gynaecological problems.
Almost 1500 people5 have also sought help through the global expert second medical opinion available through Smart Health – a service that allows a patient to have their medical notes reviewed by one of 50,000 medical experts in their field. These second opinions have led to a change in diagnosis of an existing medical situation for 9% of people, as well as a change in treatment for 29%. Again, children and young people who are not insured benefitted too as 14% of second medical opinion requests were for people aged 19 or less.
Mental wellbeing delivered by psychologists fills a valuable gap for individuals and children, as 7%6 of Smart Health’s demand is for mental health support that can be received virtually.
Helping more than the bill payer
Smart Health is used most by employees, and their families, who get access to it through an employer as part of their employee benefits and group life, income protection or critical illness insurance. This group of people are not always paying the bill for this insurance either – it may be their employer. Yet they are making the most of it: 68% of Smart Health users have access to the service through an employer.
Children and young people aged 17 or under were the beneficiary of over 10,700 virtual GP appointments to the end of April 2023. That means almost one in five (19%) of all Smart Health GP appointments were used by young people, thanks to the insurance their parents have. What’s more, 12% of the children getting immediate help were aged five or under.
Among children and young people, there has been a steady flow of help requested with common childhood illnesses, skin conditions, viruses, eye irritations or musculoskeletal conditions.
One in eight case requests (12%) for an expert medical opinion to review their case were for young people aged 17 and under. The range of conditions was much wider7:
- 35% were for childhood illnesses
- 15% were for skin conditions
- 8% allergies or immunology
- 5% bone and skeletal issues
- 3% each for female reproduction, gastro conditions, ENT, blood, heart, infectious diseases plus brain and spine disorders.
In 3% of cases, requests for help through Smart Health’s nutrition service were for children.
Commenting, Esson continued: “The primary purpose of protection insurance is to help individuals and members of employee benefit schemes financially if something goes wrong. That the services are used for children shows insurance now delivers vital and immediate preventative healthcare outcomes to them too – and helps advisers demonstrate the benefits and value of protection. Long-term, this can only be a good thing for families and for the ever-increasing demands on the NHS.”
Notes To Editors
- Smart Health by AIG delivered 53,354 GP appointments lasting up to 30 minutes to 30th April 2023. Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health.
- Smart Health by AIG services was used 84,920 times to 30th April 2023. Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health.
- Smart Health by AIG was used 35,153 times between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022. Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health.
- Teladoc Health data from 3347 returned patient surveys to 30th April 2023.
- 1453 people used the Smart Health global expert medical opinion service to 30th April 2023. Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health.
- Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health to 30th April 2023.
- Source: Usage data compiled by Teladoc Health to 31st December 2022.
AIG Life Limited is the UK life insurance arm of Corebridge Financial, formerly AIG Life and Retirement.
Smart Health was launched in 2019 to give all of AIG’s new and existing group protection scheme members and customers, plus their families, free telehealth support as part of the insurance they buy across six services:
- 24/7 unlimited access to phone and video appointments with UK-registered GPs and from anywhere in the world
- mental health consultations with psychologists
- second medical opinions from the world’s 50,000 best doctors
- nutritionist and fitness plans, plus
- online health checks.
AIG’s Smart Health gives customers, employees, and their immediate families (including children up to the age of 21) 24/7 unlimited access to a team of health and wellbeing experts, wherever they are in the world.
This digital support service is available to all new and existing AIG Life customers, and to insured employees under its group protection policies, as part of their protection insurance with AIG Life.
Smart Health by AIG Life is provided by Teladoc Health UK Ltd at no additional cost to AIG Life customers and insured employees under its group protection policies. Teladoc Health UK Ltd is part of Teladoc Health Group, which is a global telehealth provider using telephone and videoconferencing technology to provide on-demand remote medical care via mobile devices, the internet, video, and phone. They operate in 130 countries and deliver their services in more than 30 languages.
About Corebridge Financial
Corebridge Financial (NYSE: CRBG) makes it possible for more people to take action in their financial lives. With more than $365 billion in assets under management and administration as of March 31st, 2023, Corebridge is one of the largest providers of retirement solutions and insurance products in the United States. We proudly partner with financial professionals and institutions to help individuals plan, save for and achieve secure financial futures. For more information, visit corebridgefinancial.com and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
About AIG Life
Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aiglife.co.uk | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aiglifeUK | Twitter: @AIGLifeUK www.twitter.com/AIGLifeUK | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aiglifelimited. These references with additional information about AIG Life have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.