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3 Ways Group Insurers Can Transform Member Experience and Build Deeper Relationships

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Delivering superior, digital service to all stakeholders is a critical capability for group insurers. However, the nature of group insurance and the requirements of the different stakeholders involved creates significant challenges.

Unlike individual insurance, group insurance is a corporate sale—more complex, and lengthy to close. And, given the structure of the group—one company with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees—the resource and time investment in servicing all stakeholders is great. Not just for the insurer but also for the employer.

Delivering Superior Customer Experiences Reduces Relationship Risk

New employees need to be on-boarded to the plan, just as other plan members may move on and need to be taken off the rolls. Renewals and annual changes to the group plan need to be addressed each year. And members will at times need to complete forms that may be tied to qualifying life events, request benefit changes or submit claims.

It often requires account and client relationship managers on both the group insurer and plan administrator sides to manage all that activity. Given the resources devoted to attracting and managing group relationships, and the significant amount of potential revenue involved, it’s critical for group insurers to deliver a superior customer experience (CX) in each interaction.

Each and every action is a touchpoint between client and insurer, which has the potential to increase the quality of the relationship—or turn it in the opposite direction. If the CX is poor, frustrating, time-consuming, confusing or difficult to manage the cumulative effect can be devastating.

Frequency of Member Interactions Present Unique CX Challenges for Group Insurers

Group plans typically include both life and medical insurance. The health plan includes various types of specific benefits that may or may not be covered — from drug prescriptions to dental, vision, chiropractic and physical therapy. These benefits, multiplied by the number of members involved, creates a significant number of interactions with the group insurer.

The number of interactions is further increased by the fact that health benefits involve a higher frequency of claims. In many cases, members will submit multiple claims per year. And, given their experiences with digital service in other areas of their life, they have come to expect that those claims will be:

  • Paperless
  • Easy and quick to submit
  • Quick to be approved and paid

Slow, manual processes, delays at different levels of approval, and/or hold-ups in payments creates frustration. These headaches, multiplied by the large number of touchpoints, can add up to serious dissatisfaction. And that creates a negative attitude towards the group insurer that can grow until employers and plan administrators begin to feel it might be time to look for another partner.

On the other hand, a paperless, efficient and speedy claims experience that exceeds client expectations will increase satisfaction and act to further cement the relationship with every interaction.

3 Keys to Creating a Great Digital Group Experience

Building great relationships with all stakeholders requires group insurers to implement modern, digital tools that accelerate processes and create superior member experiences.

1. eForms

Electronic forms and signature capabilities are needed to smooth out and accelerate the service and claims process. A digital solution reduces the friction that results from manual, paper-based workflows by enabling employees to submit documents and do enrollments online. This makes life easier for an administrator dealing with monthly new hires and plan members. The amount of manual labor that falls to plan administrators is greatly reduced when members can easily and quickly complete and submit their own forms electronically.

What to Look for in the Right eForm and eSignature Solutions for Group Insurance

Digital form submission reduces errors as well as accelerating on-boarding and service processes—which is critical to creating great stakeholder experiences.

They should:

  • Integrate with the group insurer’s existing systems to streamline processes
  • Reduce the paper trail and make all services easier to use for plan administrators and participants.
  • Replace traditional forms processing with capture wizards that make onboarding and servicing seamless.
  • Support accelerated approvals in real-time to reduce wait times and frustration
  • Be easy to implement, configure and manage for the insurer—increasing flexibility and innovation

2. Group Portal

An effective digital group portal is crucial to a good user experience. A portal makes it easy for members to file claims and check their status. It gives them confidence in the speed and accuracy of the claims process.

The right group portal should:

  • Have a well-designed, easy-to-use interface to reduce effort and frustration
  • Efficiently handle all service and claims activities, increasing the speed of the interaction
  • Securely deliver benefit information directly to stakeholder anytime and on any device
  • Enable changes to be made to member information or benefits in real time, making the process quick and efficient

3. Group Administration

Although the group administration platform is not a direct contributor to the member experience, legacy systems that don’t enable easy access to data create challenges. The portal requires a modern group admin platform capable of providing plan administrators and participants with digital access to the full life cycle of group benefits, from enrollment, to renewal, to claim.

Wrap Up

Given the number of stakeholders and touch points involved in Group Plans, insurers face significant risk if the member experience is not superb. Those organizations looking to exceed stakeholder expectations and build deeper relationships with members can’t afford to rely on legacy technology, paper and manual processes, or digital tools that don’t provide great user experiences. Instead, they should seek to create superior, end-to-end digital experiences on specialized and integrated eForm tools, service portals and modern group admin platforms. The group insurers who are able to provide fast, easy and secure on-boarding and service will cement the hard-won relationships they worked so hard to build.

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