With a greater push than ever before to keep up with digital transformation and adopt modern software solutions, the employee benefits industry is changing rapidly.
A key moment in this change was the recent acquisition of Limelight Health, the leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions for group carriers, by FINEOS, a leading provider of core systems for life, accident and health insurers globally.
So what exactly does this acquisition mean for the employee benefits industry?
To find out, Limelight Health Co-Founder and VP of Innovation Garrett Viggers sat down with Michael Kelly, Founder and CEO of FINEOS, and Jason T. Andrew, Co-Founder and CEO of Limelight Health, for an exclusive interview.
Hear the full interview on their episode of the GroupTech Talks podcast.
How did FINEOS first become interested in Limelight Health?
In early 2020, Michael Kelly was catching up with a contact at a group carrier who recommended that he look up Limelight Health.
Kelly recalls that he knew he had to reach out when his contact praised Limelight Health for being “good fun” in addition to their knowledge of the group benefits space.
He says, “And that’s when I met Jason in New York. …. Quickly, I was asking what the tech stack was. And of course it was very similar to ours, both running on Amazon as a cloud. I just said to him, ‘Look, I think that we definitely have to partner and work together.… If it’s possible, maybe we could get together and actually see if we could join the two businesses and grow faster together.’ ”
Andrew was in complete agreement, and Limelight Health hired William Blair to run a four month process. While a number of parties came to the table, FINEOS was by far the best option for shareholders and the business. FINEOS officially closed on the acquisition of Limelight Health in August 2020.
What does this acquisition mean for the employee benefits industry?
FINEOS’ acquisition of Limelight Health creates the only complete end-to-end SaaS core insurance product suite for the global life, accident, and health industry.
With the combination of FINEOS’ policy, admin, and billing systems, and Limelight Health’s products for quoting, rating, and underwriting, together they form a full best-of-breed product suite for group insurance carriers.
Andrew points out that this allows customers the flexibility to choose which products work best for them, which can be seamlessly integrated with existing ecosystems, or reap the benefits of the full product suite.
He says, “I don’t think there’s any better combination or a more mature product stack….I think there’s a lot of really great opportunity for everybody that’s a part of this.”
What is the benefit of an end-to-end solution for carriers?
With FINEOS and Limelight Health’s full API-driven product suite, carriers will be able to successfully go from quote to claim within one core system.
Kelly says, “The end-to-end solution, which is beautiful really, to be able to go from…quote to claim. Which truly is what a carrier needs, at the end of the day, is a core system. To be able to mix and to unify the system so all the workflows, processes and all the products, everything just comes into one place and effectively is available to everyone.”
Andrew notes that more group carriers in the global market will now be able to benefit from the use of Limelight Health’s products, as the acquisition by FINEOS will help the company achieve a wider reach.
“A lot of demand was coming inbound internationally and we just, we had to say ‘no’ which I hate doing. We just didn’t have the capacity, but now we’ve got a global footprint….I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for the market.”
What is the big “why” that motivates the work FINEOS and Limelight Health do?
Kelly and Andrew agree that the main motivator for both companies has always been to help people get the health coverage and protection they need, and improving their quality of life.
Andrew says, “Ultimately it was always about, how do we actually make sure people have the coverage they need? So what I’m really, really inspired by is that FINEOS has articulated that vision….The vision is a world where protection from illness, injury and loss is accessible to everyone. It’s literally what we were trying to do. But now we’ve got the front end, we’ve got the administration, we’ve got the claims and there’s so much that we can do on a global basis.”
Kelly elaborates on this saying, “It’s really important to me as well because…we started in claims, and when we went into claims over 15 years ago we felt we were in that customer care area, and protecting people. So we help our customers care for the people they serve through the application of modern insurance technology. That’s our core purpose, so our purpose and our vision [are] linked. The vision is really all about better lives. People living longer, and having a better quality of life.”
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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.