Sep 27, 2021

Why connectivity is critical for insurance innovation

Why connectivity should be an operational focus for anyone developing a new employee benefit.

Patrick Brassil

Employers play a critical role in protecting their employees from the crushing cost of U.S. healthcare, but increasingly, health insurance alone isn’t enough to ensure that a medical issue doesn’t become a financial burden.

Research shows that 60% of Americans don’t have the savings to pay an unexpected $1,000 bill, yet the average individual with employer-sponsored health insurance has a deductible of $1,644. Families and those on High Deductible Health Plans have deductibles much higher. It’s no wonder 50% of Americans fear going bankrupt due to medical bills.

This gap creates an opportunity to introduce new solutions that help keep employees healthy and productive while protecting the employer’s bottom line. However, to get there, we need the freedom to invent new kinds of health benefits that are 10x more valuable, not just 10% improvements on the status quo.

For carriers, this means inventing new types of coverage and using technology to build a better employee experience. For employers and their benefit advisors, this means stitching together solutions from a wider range of carriers to create the right benefits portfolio.

  1. Connectivity makes it easier for employers to say yes. An employer might find your solution intriguing, but if your benefit isn’t easy to enroll and administer, the operational cost may be too high to justify taking a risk on something new. Our approach at Brella has been to build platforms that take the headaches out of enrollment and plan administration. We’re also working to establish connections, for example via Noyo’s API technology, with a variety of benefit administration platforms. This way if the employer wants us to handle enrollment and administration, we can give them a great experience, but we also have the flexibility to work with employers through their existing benefits administration platform.

  2. Connectivity relieves operational burdens. Setting up products and rates, managing enrollments, and keeping up with new hires, terminations, and life event changes are table stakes for any new benefit; when these things aren’t done properly, the operational cost can be huge. Not only does it take time to sort out who should and shouldn’t be covered, employers often have to untangle these mistakes in their invoices. This causes a perpetual trail of invoice reconciliation that is extra work for both HR and finance managers. In addition to our investments in connectivity, we’ve also made it possible for employers to preview their invoices so they can make corrections in advance and pay the right amount every month.

  3. Connectivity equals scale. Investing in connectivity with the industry’s leading benefits administration platforms is a smart way to ensure your product can be considered by a wide variety of employers across industries and group sizes. Plus, you’ll be saving time on manual implementation work, which will allow you to install cases faster than your competitors. Spending less time on implementation means you’ll have more time to sell your solution.

  4. Connectivity improves retention. A connected solution with accurate and automated data exchange creates a great experience for benefit managers and sets you up for a successful renewal. The Noyo 360 solution is one of the first to automate data exchange across the entire policy lifecycle, which is critical for making the entire benefit process seamless and keeping your groups happy in the long term.

Building insurance products that deliver 10x value is about more than just a new plan design and a better claims experience. A big part of that value creation is investing in the connections your groups need in order to install, enroll, and administer a new benefit. We’re a Noyo partner because we believe connectivity is key to building a world where health hardships don’t become financial burdens.

Patrick Brassil is the Director of Operations at Brella Insurance.

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