ILO Logo

Smart technology for smart delivery

Emerging Insight #:


Date of Release:

  February 16, 2015


  Data analysis and processing, Client interface


  Amicus Advisory

Impact of smartcards on cost and efficiency

Results from a project with Amicus Advisory make a strong case for using smartcard technology to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Amicus Advisory, an insurance advisory firm in India, piloted biometric smartcards to replace plastic identification cards in a cashless inpatient and outpatient health insurance scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

The use of smart cards resulted in significant reductions in the time taken to enroll clients, authorize treatments, and access claims data (see table below). Smart cards also made it easier to monitor claims and resulted in lower claims size due to the implementation of a predetermined fee-for-service schedule for 95 outpatient treatments and 937 inpatient procedures. Claims administration costs were reduced by 8 to 15 per cent for healthcare providers and the insurer’s costs were reduced from 17 per cent to 10 per cent of the premium due to the reduction in paperwork, courier charges and the elimination of a third party administrator to process claims.

Further, access to medical history (up to ten medical transactions are stored on the cards) facilitated better diagnosis and treatment, as confirmed by 90 per cent of doctors surveyed during a post-implementation study.

These results are encouraging as they demonstrate how smartcards can create better value for clients, insurers and healthcare providers through efficient and cost-effective delivery.

To learn more about how the smartcards were implemented, see the Amicus Advisory Learning Journey and a presentation from the 10th International Microinsurance Conference.