Brian O’Connell of insuranceQuotes.com shares how employers leverage insurtech to improve employee benefits and navigate the changing workplace landscape.
Intro: Highly publicized trends like great resignation and quiet quitting significantly impact the workplace, so employers are turning to innovations to streamline and enhance employee benefits to improve employee recruitment and retention, says Brian O’Connell of InsuranceQuotes.
With the U.S. workplace in significant turmoil in 2023, employers are pivoting to more robust employee benefits and perks, with insurance technology expected to play a key role.
Remote work, rising layoffs, talk of a significant recession, and rising demand for more (and better) benefits and safer workplace safety all present a major challenge for employers, who increasingly rely on expanded insurance services to accommodate anxious employees.
â€œThere’s a significant trend toward digitization of insurance services, which have traditionally been transacted via phone, fax, and paper,â€ says Josh Butler, chief executive officer at CompScience, an AI-based insurance company in San Francisco, Cal. â€œNow employers expect telemedicine, 24/7 phone-based nurse triage, and electronic claims filing, accelerating care administration and helping people to return to full employment as soon as possible.â€
Here’s What’s Happening in Workplace Insurtech This Year
Employer insurance initiatives are merging with digital services to change how employees use and view their workplace benefits.
While insurtech covers a lot of ground at work, these areas are drawing attention from employers and employees alike.
1. Linking to insurers
One solution ascending in 2023 is human resources software platforms integrating with insurance carriers and benefits providers.Â
Increasingly, such platforms are aiding HR professionals in managing the entire benefits administration process, from enrollment to renewals. Insurance carriers can also provide analytics and reporting to help track key metrics such as enrollment rates and costs â€“ areas of significant concern for cost-conscious companies in 2023.
In addition to HR software platforms, specialized insurance technology providers offer tailored solutions for specific insurance types, such as health or disability insurance. These providers dig deeper in providing in-depth analytics and reporting, thus providing a much-needed granular look into areas of need for companies looking to beef up their employee benefits and keep top talent.
Human resources officers also see more technology solutions to streamline and track employee insurance enrollment and benefit onboarding processes.Â
â€œBambooHR, Wynsure Enrollment Acceleration, and Allstate Benefits Enrollment Solutions
are some of the latest tools that can be used for this purpose,â€ says Bonnie Whitfield, Human Resources Director of Family Destinations Guide, a vacation services platform.Â
2. Wellness and wearablesÂ
C-level officers also see more integration of wearable technology into corporate health and wellness programs.Â
Many insurance providers offer incentives for employees who use wearable devices, such as Fitbits or smartwatches, to track their physical activity and health metrics. Such incentives can include premium discounts, gift cards, or other rewards.
That’s important in an age where 42% of employees don’t feel cared for by their companies, according to a recent MetLife studyOpens a new window .
Investments in digital wellness benefits encourage employees to take a more proactive approach to their health and wellness, which can lead to improved overall health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.
3. A modular focus
Companies are also focusing more on modular benefit offerings, enabled by technology, that support each employee’s unique life and work reality.Â Â
â€œCompanies are combining health, welfare, financial and lifestyle benefits with easy-to-use employee interface with fintech integrations and self-service chat features and knowledge base resources,â€ says Brett M. Estep, chief operating officer at Insured Nomads, an AI technology firm operating in the travel and leisure finance space.â€
Companies will also rely on insurtech services to ensure the personalization of employee benefits. By drilling down to discover how team members can leverage the right benefits when needed most, employers can do a much better job of helping staffers plug into their benefits and solve usage barrier issues.
That’s especially so in the employee wellness realm.
As healthcare costs continue to rise more quickly than inflation, employers are reluctant to offer better insurance packages to attract and retain workers. By increasing wages and offering greater amounts of more-flexible time off, firms can dodge higher healthcare-related costs.
4. Remote rulesÂ
Employers are finding that insurance and benefits must align with employee lifestyles and that cultural trends are making an impact.Â Â
That’s the case as the lines between work and pleasure have been indelibly blurred, so company insurance policies must be adopted to accommodate employee benefits value. In a new remote work environment, companies must consider employees’ health, safety, and security no matter where they work.
That may be a tall order in 2023.
Data from the SurveyOpens a new window shows a disconnect in employee benefits between on-site and remote employees. According to the survey, 45% of remote staff need help understanding and using their employee benefits. Only 29% of on-site career professionals say the same thing.
5. Access to telehealth servicesÂ
Company executives are also more workplace insurance offerings, focusing on telemedicine and mental health coverage.Â
â€œEmployers are enhancing their mental health and well-being offerings, with remote access to medical care being a significant addition,â€ Whitfield says. This is especially beneficial for those unable to access in-person care due to distance or other factors.â€
The impact telehealth services are having on companies is significant.
â€œProviding access to mental health coverage and telemedicine can help reduce absenteeism, improve employee morale and productivity, and reduce overall healthcare costs,â€ Whitfield notes.
6. More transparency for employees and employersÂ
Insurers are increasingly deploying technology solutions that streamline and track the employee insurance enrollment process and that onboard new employeeÂ and help them receive company benefits.
Some bigger insurance companies are leading the way by giving employers back-end access to their proprietary apps. In this scenario, employers send their employees a link to the app for their insurance company, which handles the rest of the enrollment and tracking process.â€
The Takeaway on Workplace Insurance Going Forward
Overall, company decision-makers believe workplace insurance plans in 2023 will be more expensive and diverse than in 2021â€“2022.
That’s primarily due to several factors, such as rising inflation, interest rates, and loss costs, as well as the looming threats of recession, climate change, and geopolitical upheaval.
Insurance companies will also increasingly compete with InsurTechs and non-insurance entities such as e-tailers and manufacturers. â€œWorkplaces will also be more diverse, distributed, and virtual than ever before, and medical plan costs are expected to see a significant price rise,â€ Whitfield said.
To get on board with so many changes on the employee benefits and insurance front, companies need to do their homework.
First, companies must educate managers and staff about the available insurance options and what they cover. Clear communication will be critical to ensure team members understand the benefits they are entitled to and how to make claims.
Secondly, it’s also important to periodically review and update insurance policies to ensure that they meet the changing needs of your workforce.Â
â€œCompanies should also consider partnering with a reputable insurance provider that can offer guidance and support when navigating complex insurance issues,â€ Whitfield adds.
Have you optimized your workplace benefits with innovative insurtech solutions? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!
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