Oh how times have changed.
20 years ago the only way to book a flight was to call a travel agent, a middleman whose job was to connect you with vendors. Silicon Valley startup Zenefits tried to do the same to insurance brokers. Rather than charge small businesses to use its human resources management software, Zenefits offered it for free. Charging little or nothing for software is a common practice in the “software as a service,” or SaaS, business. But it was new to the insurance industry. Zenefits’ early promise quickly fizzled as several U.S. states launched investigations into whether it sold health insurance through unlicensed brokers. Conrad resigned and their valuation plummeted. But if you’re a healthcare broker, don’t think you’ve dodged a bullet: to stay competitive, you must offer your clients online enrollment technology.
Technology Can Be a Broker’s Best Friend
If you haven’t already, now is the time to embrace online enrollment as a key value-add for your clients. Partnering with the right technology provider or providing technology can give you a critical advantage over your competition because, at the end of the day, your services as a broker are invaluable if you can help your client’s employees be more engaged and more productive. If you’re looking for an HR technology solution or partner here are some questions you need to ask:
Do we have the appropriate resources and infrastructure to handle benefits administration in-house?
Do we have the financial support to develop and maintain the skill sets and technology needed to manage benefits administration effectively?
Do we have the in‐house expertise to understand today’s complex regulatory compliance issues?
Does the online enrollment solution “talk” to payroll? If not, your clients will be forced to manually duplicate information, such as employee deductions and demographic data.
Your Best Defense is to Provide Value & Engage Employees
Whether your clients use your online enrollment solution or one of their own, your job as a broker – and your best defense against the Zenefits of the world drinking your milkshake – is to help your clients engage their employees. If you want to remain indispensable, ask yourself:
Am I helping my clients be more strategic?
The right technology can make it easy to track usage and costs—data that you can use to work with your clients and carriers to target benefits more strategically.
Am I helping my clients communicate the true value of the benefits they offer?
When you consider that a typical large employer offers health benefits and programs from more than a dozen different sources spanning health plans, wellness vendors, telemedicine, second-opinion programs, Centers of Excellence and more—often accessed through separate user experiences—it’s clear why getting employees to actively engage has been a challenge. When they actually need care, employees often don’t even remember what benefits they have, or get confused and overwhelmed trying to sift through the different sources of information.
Am I helping my clients engage their workforce?
Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. They’re the only generation that has been raised using technology and 93% of them believes technology is one of the most important aspects of a business. They want technology that improves both their professional and personal lives.
Helping our partners get the most out of our service so you can enable your clients to keep ahead of the curve is key to your success and ours. Let’s talk about how our integrations can improve your clients’ HR and payroll experiences today. Click here to refer a client today.