A Look at How Technology Is Changing the Health Insurance Industry
Technology is changing the world – and health insurance brokers are not immune. While our industry has not always embraced change, the pace of change in increasing. In the past, paper-based applications were the standard. Today, while some employers prefer paper, most carriers have adopted some form of online enrollment, which helps streamlines enrollment processing and case underwriting.
To compete in a changing environment, brokers need to change, too. That means moving beyond traditional health insurance sales and becoming more of a strategic partner to clients and offering counsel on health benefits, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, and ancillary and voluntary benefits (including dental, vision, disability, life insurance, and other programs).
Technology can go a long way toward helping you with this. Consider offering your clients a comprehensive online enrollment, payroll, and HR benefits solution that combines enrollment, employee onboarding, HR documents, payroll, and ACA compliance. The EaseCentral system, which is one of several in the marketplace today, allows employers to present multiple options to employees and to enroll securely online. It also offers single entry to personnel forms, new employee paperwork, and employee benefits.
This online technology delivers employee handbooks and required ACA notifications, including the ability to require an employee’s review and e-signature acknowledgement. It tracks variable hour employees, calculates Full Time Equivalent employees, and determines if your client is an Applicable Large Employer (ALE).
An optional payroll module works in conjunction with your client’s existing payroll provider to ensure payroll information is always up to date.
HealthiestYou is another company changing the way people access health care. It offers a unique blend of innovation, technology, and engagement – giving employees access to online medical appointments, appointment scheduling, health care provider ratings, and prescription cost comparisons.
Quoting is also changing – for groups and individuals. More and more brokers are now offering Individual & Family Plan (IFP) quoting on their websites (fed by info from their carrier partners or services like Quotit®). Many General Agents, including Word & Brown, offer online group quotes through proprietary programs like Quot-O-Matic® or direct to carrier links. Millennials, especially, appreciate the moves to increased mobility and greater technology. Your adoption of new technologies will help you differentiate yourself and better prepare you for what’s ahead in the insurance industry.