Carriers competing in the employee benefits space have long recognized the benefits of aligning to their distribution partnerships. In fact, they did this extremely well for the past 30 years as carriers custom built their own core systems based on the products that they sold, to the markets they sold them and the channels they sold them through. It was a comfortable silo and it worked, until...
Enrollment options are expanding. With dozens of third-party vendors (including the emergence of new market places that include public and private exchanges) the opportunity for carriers to successfully increase their enrollment rates and get their products out to the various markets has never been greater.
I recently attended the 2014 LIMRA Group and Worksite Benefits Conference at Baltimore Harbor which has grown dramatically, driven by the disruption and opportunity to be found in the US group and worksite benefits marketplace. There were excellent prepared sessions and many good discussions at the conference, which left me thinking of what I see as the next conundrum in this market, the need for simplicity, transparency and clean customer experiences in a complex business. It seemed almost every session had the word “Exchange” somewhere in the title and most were trying to explain how exchanges of various kinds benefit insurers, employers and consumers, and how to leverage the opportunity this transformation presents. It was stated that exchanges are making things simpler for all parties: broker, insurer, employer and employee. But these new automated marketplaces make things considerably more complex for insurers.
The introduction of Exigen Suite™ for Group Benefits is generating a lot of interest among insurers offering group benefits products and has been well-received by analysts familiar with this segment’s market conditions and pressing technology needs.
“As a modern, configurable system based on open standards, Exigen brings a new option into an underserved market,” said Chad Hersh, managing director in the insurance practice at Novarica. “Few systems adequately address the unique needs of the group benefits space, including the robust flexibility and scale requirements. Market forces demand greater investment in technology as insurers seek to build more effective channels that market to employees directly, while dealing with the convergence of traditional group and voluntary insurance and customer desire for greater control over their benefits.”
Exigen Suite for Group Benefits provides insurers with a technology response to the business, regulatory and social drivers that are reshaping the Group Benefits market. The Exigen Suite offers plan management for group and worksite products – life, disability, accident and health, and medical – that accommodates all classes of participant and all billing options from non-contributory to voluntary. The solution includes all policy admin, billing and claims functions and provides insurers with unparalleled flexibility to manage product offerings and distribution across a wide spectrum of the market. Through the built-in customer relationship management (CRM) module insurers, worksite sponsor companies and brokers get a full on-line account view of customers. The solution also meets the growing demand by plan participants to view and manage their products online and on mobile devices.
"As the group and voluntary insurance markets converge, changing distribution and service models will strain IT application architectures and legacy systems past the breaking point,” said Chuck Johnston, director, Americas Life/Annuity & Group Practice with Celent’s Insurance Group. “Insurers and brokers have underinvested in group and voluntary insurance solutions over the last 20-plus years, and will struggle to meet new market requirements. Celent believes that compelling new solution offerings in the group administration space will come from property & casualty (P&C) vendors leveraging their multi-coverage, multiple insurance object models to meet the unique needs of this market.”
Key features of Exigen Suite for Group Benefits include:
- A single multi-line platform for group and worksite insurance that reduces cost and provides greater control of distribution;
- A single view of the customer to improve service and increase cross-sell opportunities;
- Simplified eligibility and enrollment that saves time and increases accuracy;
- Flexible billing as a strategy to improve customer relationships; and
- Full real-time self-service for participants, brokers and sponsors.
“By consolidating disparate line of business systems into one and leveraging the ultra-configurability of Exigen Suite, we expect insurers to reduce operation and IT costs by more than 30 percent and to grow by controlling more of the value chain and being able to more quickly enter markets,” said Adam Denninger, SVP, Commercial Markets, Exigen Insurance Solutions.
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