Why APIs Are the Future of Benefits | Guest Post: Ameritas & Noyo
Since the earliest days of insurance, group benefits have typically been “one size fits most.” Employers choose the plans they think are the best for their workforce, while employees are given a few options from which to pick one or none. And that was good enough — until now.
The pandemic taught consumers that industries previously untouched by digitization are no longer off-limits and that convenience can be delivered in exciting ways. As a result, they are clamoring for more choice and personalization when it comes to their benefits and perks.
That’s a lot to deliver for an industry still largely reliant on manual processes and legacy technology. It’s why 66% of insurance executives say the pace of digital transformation is accelerating for their organization. Like fintech (financial technology), hospitality and retail before, emerging technologies are laying the groundwork for a more personalized benefit experience.
Application programming interfaces, known as APIs are central to this transformation. In addition to cloud computing and artificial intelligence, APIs are already helping insurance carriers, benefits software platforms and insurance brokers deliver better customer experiences. Read on to learn how.
APIs Make Impossible Connections Possible
The ability to connect software platforms that would otherwise be unable to interact with each other is what makes APIs so exciting for the benefits industry. Just like fintech has seen an explosion of new apps, services and business models because of APIs, opportunities abound in the group benefits space.
Once created, these new connections will solve the data gap between insurance carriers and benefits software platforms. From there, processes can be modernized, data freed from legacy systems and customer experiences improved. As a result, choosing, enrolling and managing benefits will get a whole lot easier for HR professionals, as well as their employees.
Looking even further ahead, APIs will pave the way for embedded services that will transform people’s relationships with their benefits. Imagine how much more engaged workers would be if they could view their plan details as part of their personal financial planning tools or get decision support and automatic renewal with AI assistance. Having that kind of visibility will one day help people make smarter decisions and investments over time.
Example: How Ameritas is Personalizing Dental and Vision Benefits
When it comes to making better employee benefits decisions, a growing number of HR professionals want better comparison and analysis tools and data. With benefits weighing heavier than ever in job seekers’ decision-making, offerings must be competitive and consistent.
At Ameritas, we help employers uplevel their offerings by giving brokers the data and insights they need to deliver personalized dental and vision benefits. This includes leveraging customer data to review plan design elements and utilization trends over time. Once in place, we’re able to surface plan usage trends to help employers keep their offerings relevant to their people.
To deliver this type of plan data analysis for brokers and customers, we rely on partner expertise to ensure eligibility transactions are made with the highest level of accuracy and efficiency possible. That’s where our partnership with PlanSource and Noyo comes in.
APIs Enable Modern Experiences Downstream
Benefit brokers and insurance carriers have always been experts at knowing their products and customers, but now they’re tasked with knowing their technology as well. No wonder 80% of insurance executives say their organization’s business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable. Stopgaps put in place during the pandemic are now being refined and expanded.
With global demand for insurance expected to grow 3.9% this year, access to data-driven insights, automation and modern infrastructure are quickly becoming table stakes for benefits players. The good news is that the industry’s technology budgets are expected to rise 13.7% in 2022, with the majority being invested in emerging technologies like AI, cloud and APIs.
All that investment points to important prioritization of digital transformation on all sides of the industry. How this trickles down to employers and employees will take the shape of faster enrollment times, easier plan updates and automated renewals.
Example: How PlanSource is Modernizing Benefits Administration
Managing benefits plans comes with many challenges for today’s HR professionals, including increasingly high costs and maximizing employee engagement. The easier and more rewarding it is for customers to enroll in benefits, the better it is for carriers, benefits software platforms and brokers alike.
That’s why PlanSource and Ameritas have partnered to streamline enrollment processes and keep employee data up to date with PlanSource Boost. Delivering a seamless two-way data transfer between Ameritas and PlanSource via Noyo ensures quick, accurate coverage setup and maintenance. It also frees brokers from the manual work of setting up and testing EDI files thanks to automation, and lets customers focus on selecting and using their benefits.
In the future, Ameritas and PlanSource will continue to provide more seamless services that put the customer and the broker first, driven by APIs. Plan and employee data integrity will continue to be maintained through Noyo.
The Time to Embrace APIs is Now
APIs are already enabling a new age of connected insurance, where more and more people have the right information when they need it. Over the next five years, the benefits ecosystem will continue to make APIs a core strategy throughout.
Together, Ameritas, PlanSource and Noyo have created a solution that lets brokers offer modern, personalized dental and vision benefits that employers enjoy offering and employees love to use. To learn more about our integration, contact Ameritas today.
Drew Fleming has a demonstrated history of success in the employee benefits industry. After more than 25 years in dental and vision sales and sales management for Ameritas, Drew now leads their group business sales distribution as senior vice president. He’s built a team of skilled and experienced professionals that are laser focused on strategic planning, data analysis, and custom benefits design.
Jake Bendler is responsible for the expansion and identification of key agencies and national partnerships. He is an advocate to our field representatives and leadership for both regional and national growth initiatives with our largest broker distribution partners and is a welcome resource in securing Benefits Technology platforms to expand our distribution.
Jake joined Ameritas in 2007 and has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a member of multiple sales and underwriting committees and has previously served as a Board Member on the Central California Association of Heath Underwriters (CCAHU). Jake has received multiple awards and recognition throughout his time at Ameritas. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Business Administration.
Tim Cerimele is a facilitator of change and innovation in the benefits and insurance technology markets. He has served this mission at some of the most innovative and disruptive models in the industry. Currently, he is Director of National Accounts at Noyo, an API platform that enables the infrastructure necessary to deliver the best consumer experiences.
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