You may not know this about me, but I’ve been in the workplace benefits market for well over a decade now. (In the past three years, though, I took a break to focus on more strategic projects at EIS.)
Recently, I returned to my first Workplace Benefits event in three years – the LIMRA ETSS event in Atlanta – and it was surprising to see how much the industry has changed over the past decade or so since the Affordable Care act (or ACA) passed.
What in technology’s good name happened while I was gone?!?
I mean, I recognized most of the faces and names, but their conversations were in a completely different language! Technology, not distribution dominated the event, even though it wasn’t an IT event. Business leaders were talking about how technology will either be their super power for the future or their achilles heal to growth.
It became abundantly clear that ecosystem connectivity between carrier and enroller and BenAdmin and HRIS and many others are what needs fixing. Everyone seems to know that API integrations are the solutions… So why was there so much coverage on the topic?
Answer: pesky, walled-off legacy systems.
If you’re at the front end of the business you know this. But for the rest of us, here’s why. And that big lesson according to the panelists on the API and Real-Time Integration panel on how to achieve 80% enrollment rates is at the end.
80% enrollment rates: pie in the sky, or actually achievable?
It’s no secret that the enrollment process for employee benefits can be challenging for both employers and employees, especially when it comes to managing complex systems and integrating different platforms. Like when the enroller has the ability to send enrollments in real time, but the carrier’s legacy system can’t automatically take them in. It’s like a tree falling in the woods…
This is where APIs come in handy. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are sets of protocols, routines, and tools for building software applications, and for getting software to talk to each other so your business can run smoothly… and so you can get your enrollment rates up.
- Streamlined Communication and Data Sharing – In the enrollment process, employers can integrate various HR and benefits platforms using APIs. This means that the data entered into one system can be transferred to another system, eliminating the need for manual data entry. (Thank goodness!) For example, an employee’s personal information entered in the HR system can be automatically transferred to the benefits system, simplifying the enrollment process.
- Real-Time Information Access – When employees can access their benefits information and enrollment options anytime and from anywhere, it eliminates the need for face-to-face meetings with HR staff. This real-time access can also help employers make informed decisions about benefits packages based on employee enrollment data.
- Enhanced Employee Engagement – With APIs, employees can compare and contrast different plans, choose the best options that suit their needs, and enroll in benefits programs from anywhere. This enhances the ability to show people personalized options and increases employee engagement, leading to higher employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
- Reduced Administrative Burden – APIs allow employers to automate many of the enrollment processes, such as data entry, plan comparisons, and reporting. This reduces the likelihood of errors and ensures accurate data, improving compliance with federal and state regulations.
- Improved Security – By implementing secure APIs that protect employee data from unauthorized access, employers can ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This protects the employee’s sensitive information (like Social Security numbers and medical records) from cybercriminals.
Are APIs the key?
Clearly, APIs are key to getting more engagement and enrollment from the employee benefits enrollment process. They streamline communication and data sharing, provide real-time information access, enhance employee engagement, reduce the administrative burden, and improve security. By choosing a core system with solid, reliable APIs, insurers can simplify the enrollment process, reduce costs, and increase enrollment numbers.
The big secret to getting to 80% enrollment
🤫 It all boils down to conversion rates. (AKA, the percentage of eligible buyers that actually buy.)
It was presented that with manual enrollment and disconnected systems, the typical conversion rate is 10-25% for most products.
But with a core system that has the APIs needed to fully integrate with modern enrollment systems?
According to the panelists, the conversion rate skyrockets to over 80%
You can’t just get this level of connectivity with technology made for the pre-ACA world, however. You need a coretech platform that was designed from the ground up to be open and easily connected to ecosystems via APIs… to be built with the same DNA as today’s cutting-edge insurtechs.
When you have this, it swings the competitive advantage back to the carrier, which is why I like to think of coretech as the superpower for ambitious insurers.