Technology drives benefits broker success, but adoption varies widely
- More than half (52%) of brokers said their success and and the success of their clients depend on technology innovation, according to the 2018 Broker Tech Trend Report. The report examines brokers and employers' perspectives on technology as a solution to personalizing and delivering benefits. The data also presents insights into the ways technology can make employee health and benefits less burdensome.
- Notably, more than 50% of "analog consultants" (focus on customer service rather than tech) don't offer online enrollment tools to their clients; a third aren't even considering benefit admin tools. But 67% of brokers who were "automation leaders" ranked integrated benefits management platforms as a top priority to their clients.
- Jeff Yaniga, Maestro Health's chief channel officer, said brokers are more important today than ever, since employees want benefits guidance that makes complex and costly benefits convenient, affordable and accessible. He also said brokers are pressured to add more value and innovation in their counseling services.
Employers partner with brokers in sponsoring the benefits plan partly to give employees a resource to better understand their healthcare plans. Employees need to know their own health needs, and they need to be empowered with the ability to both compare plans and access coverage quickly. This requires frequent and clear communication between employers and workers — and technology plays a huge role in ensuring benefits communication is clear and forthright.
Benefits are synonymous with technology in many ways. High touch tools give employees access to their benefits 24/7 through any means they choose, including mobile apps, smart phones, websites and other virtual platforms. Some benefits technology focuses on tracking worker health through wearables, while others ease the course of choosing between plans. But above all, a solid benefits plan will remember that employees are human beings. A human broker who is up to speed on all things relevant to your benefits plan and willing to innovate with you can go a long way in engagement.