Great employee benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, disability and other voluntary products are some of the most valuable perks employers can give to their employees.
In order to ensure their employees get the healthcare they deserve, employers need an enrollment and renewal process that is fast, effective, and accurate. However, many carriers in the group insurance industry remain unable to provide this type of experience due to a lack of modernization. Relying on traditional methods for enrollments can sometimes lead to delays, mistakes, and customer dissatisfaction.
In this post, we’ll discuss how carriers can eliminate tedious, error-prone multi-entry to speed up quote to enrollment processing times and add value to the experience for all parties involved.
Sharing their expertise on the subject are Garrett Viggers, Co-founder, VP of Innovation and Product Evangelist at Limelight Health; a leading sales and underwriting SaaS solution for group insurance carriers, and David Reid, Co-founder of Ease; a cloud-based solution helping brokers offer their small and medium sized business (SMB) clients a better way to manage employee benefits.
What is Multi-Entry, and Why is it an Issue?
The group insurance industry is one of the last verticals of insurance to modernize. Because of this, many carriers still rely on traditional methods to process renewals and enrollments once a quote has been sold or accepted.
Paper forms and outdated systems mean that employee enrollment information must be manually collected and passed from the employer to the broker, and then finally to the carrier. During this process, the information passes through many hands and is entered in multiple systems before it arrives at the carrier and the employee is finally enrolled successfully. This time-consuming part of the quote to enrollment process is referred to as “multi-entry.”
Passing information between entities who must each collect, review, and input the data separately adds a substantial amount of time to the enrollment process. This process may be drawn out even further if the carrier receives incomplete information, and must request this data and wait to receive it before proceeding.
Additionally, because data has to be entered manually multiple times, there is much room for human error. David Reid says, “When you’re trading files back and forth, and changes can be made at multiple input points you have a lot of discrepancy reconciliation.”
This can result in the carrier receiving incorrect employee information. In other words, one wrong keystroke could result in setting up incorrect rates, plan designs, or employee information. This can cause further delays, and in some cases issues with enrolling employees in the correct plan.
The Move to Modern Solutions for Eliminating Multi-Entry
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the push for carriers, brokers, and employers to move to modern digital solutions for renewals and enrollments is stronger than ever before.
David Reid’s company Ease has been looking into the impact this event is having on their user base, “We in our survey found that from our broker current users, that 90% have said that they’re going to put significantly more of their clients on Ease because of the COVID event.”
Many groups may begin to enroll completely online with a higher number of brokers offering this as an option, especially because the virus has made traditional in-person enrollments this year a challenge for employers.
This shift is beneficial because it allows the enrollment process to take place from anywhere, and also because the modern software solutions being used to do so can solve the issue of multi-entry.
Implementing modern, cloud-based systems that integrate successfully with new business quoting and renewals allows for seamless, automated data flow between carriers, brokers, employers, and employees. After enrollment information is submitted by an employee, brokers and carriers can easily access it without the hassle of entering the data into another system or risking incorrect data entry. In the case of renewals, employees with previous coverage can simply opt to be automatically re-enrolled for the same plan design (or similar if their plan is no longer available) at the carrier’s current rates. This makes the enrollment and renewal process faster and more efficient for all parties involved.
Who is Impacted by Eliminating Multi-Entry?
When multi-entry is eliminated, this has a positive impact on everyone involved in the process. Carriers benefit from quicker turnaround times and the capacity to process a higher volume of renewals and new business sales, and their customers reap the rewards as well.
Reid says, “More and more the employee is the customer. If the employee is happy with the experience that’s important to the employer” while Viggers adds that carriers should also be asking “How can the broker as the customer have the best experience?”
In either case, the key to an end-to-end solution that really works is to create a seamless user experience which eliminates multi-entry and makes online quoting and enrollments as simple as possible.
The Solution that Adds Value for Both Carrier and Customer
To eliminate the multi-entry issue and create a great user experience that adds value across the board, carriers should consider modernizing with cloud-based technology solutions.
Viggers says, “Carriers have to modernize internally so that they can actually integrate with the ecosystem and provide the ultimate value.” This seamless integration allows for data to flow more freely between entities, and leaves less room for error.
Freely flowing information and more intuitive systems means that end users will have an easier, more satisfying experience with their enrollment. This gives carriers and brokers offering this type of experience an edge over their competitors.
Reid points out, “You don’t have to be the cheapest if you’re providing a good experience. You simply need to be competitive.”
For many employers, giving their employees a positive renewal and enrollment experience that gets them the coverage they need is the most important thing, and carriers can provide this by modernizing with technology solutions that add value for everyone involved.
To hear more from Garrett Viggers and David Reid on how to eliminate multi-entry and process group enrollments more quickly, check out their GroupTech Talks Podcast episode.
Garrett Viggers, Co-founder and creative force behind the Limelight platform, has worked in the employee benefits industry since 2002, driving product and modern tech innovation from the genesis of Consumer Driven Health to the Affordable Care Act. Garrett presents to many group carriers on the strategic path to insurtech success. He is an innovator in quoting, underwriting, renewal and decision support tools and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the group ecosystem.