7 Takeaways from the FINEOS Virtual Exchange and What They Mean for Insurance Carriers

Last month, we held our second FINEOS Virtual Exchange. The theme of “Show Me the Benefits!” focused on the real tangible benefits our clients achieve with the FINEOS Platform for Employee Benefits. Here are some of the key takeaways from the event that I wanted to share.

1. Purpose-built for Group, Voluntary and Absence – creating a clear competitive advantage for Employee Benefits carriers

In my session, The FINEOS Strategy and the Rationale for adopting the FINEOS Platform for Employee Benefits: The Power of ONE, I shared how the FINEOS culture, and our singular focus on one platform for one industry gives us clarity and alignment to effectively provide our clients with a real competitive advantage in every aspect of their core system.

The FINEOS Platform is purpose built for the employee benefits industry.  This differentiates FINEOS from the core admin providers who have entered the employee benefits market in the past 3-4 years to establish a foothold using repurposed policy and billing systems originally built for P&C, Retirement, Life & Annuity, and even systems originally developed for Unions. The retrofit approach has huge disadvantages and as time goes on these systems and vendors will be found wanting. Being a purpose-built SaaS platform, specifically for an industry, is the key to smooth implementations, upgrades and winning long term and happy clients.

I explained what we mean by purpose built by telling the story of our pivotal partnership that FINEOS started over 7 years ago with New York Life – Group Benefits Services (previously Cigna Group Benefits).  This partnership brought to life a shared vision we had for a new modern, ‘standardized’ core system which would be designed and purpose-built for the employee benefits market – one system to support Group, Voluntary and Absence Management. At that time FINEOS was the market leader in the Group and Ancillary benefits claims market. Fast forward to today and New York Life – Group Benefits Services has extensively adopted the FINEOS Platform, eliminating several billing, claims and admin systems. This is an industry first and a major achievement within the Group Benefits industry. New Your Life – Group Benefits Services call the FINEOS Platform their ‘Unified System’ as they reap the benefits of their ‘single user experience’ across policy, billing and claims and leave management.

In the past year or so FINEOS has enabled 10 new clients to implement and go live with the FINEOS Platform for Employee Benefits. This truly shows the power of a standardized modern core platform. We are not telling our clients we can ‘build’ them a new system to fit their business needs, we are showing them our modern ‘industry standard’ platform and saying ‘adopt this employee benefits core platform and standardize your business’. We are also saying ‘differentiate and drive competitive advantage in how you use our platform and how you build your digital and data strategies’. No carrier today should be building their own core systems or worse still, asking vendors from other industries to modify their core systems, that were designed for something else, to fit the needs of an employee benefits carrier.

Today, some of the largest employee benefits carriers in the world are utilizing the FINEOS Platform for Integrated Disability and Absence Management (IDAM). Our platform is enabling real revenue growth for these employee benefits carriers in what has been a difficult market overall in the past year.  Our singular focus gives us the advantage of being able to anticipate and quickly support regulatory changes, such as state Paid Leaves, LDEx standards, ERISA rules, the ASO business model and the many other industry specific fundamentals within the FINEOS Platform. We take care of keeping the platform core up to date, which enables our clients to focus on caring for and delighting their clients and customers.  The purpose-built FINEOS Platform is now supporting the largest book of business on modern core system for employee benefits, and we will continue to accelerate our growth.

2. The impact of FINEOS partnering with our clients

During the Virtual Exchange, we brought our product leaders together to have an open conversation about what FINEOS is doing for the market, what they have learned from talking to our clients, and the real needs of the market. The sessions The FINEOS Platform: Today and Tomorrow and The Benefits of Mutual Collaboration: The FINEOS CAPP (Claims Absence Practice Program) provided great insight from our product experts.

Each of the product owners came to the table and said, “Here’s what I’m seeing my clients need, here’s how we’ve responded in the past year from a product perspective, and here’s what’s coming in the future.” They really showed off the fact that they are not just technologists, they also understand what is happening in our client’s world and how we need to support the continuous change in the Employee Benefits industry.

3. Carriers are better able to manage the complexities of Absence Management

Megan Holstein really brought to life the work that is currently being done in disability and absence during the session The FINEOS Platform: Today and Tomorrow. It is a continually growing and changing field that is highly regulated, and we learned why it is more important than ever for carriers to have agile disability and absence management systems.

Also in this session, Eoin Kirwan talked about the power of the FINEOS Platform and where the FINEOS Platform is going in the next year, particularly on the Digital and Data side.

4. Seamless, free-flowing data is possible

Our product experts presented a comprehensive demo of the FINEOS Platform from quote-to-claim. This was the first time FINEOS has walked an audience through our entire end-to-end solution in a public forum. We showed how FINEOS New Business & Underwriting can pick up a piece of new business and flow it all the way through the system from end to end via policy, billing, and then managed to a claim.

This was a great demonstration of the lifetime of an insurance product, and how a cloud-native solution like the FINEOS Platform can enable seamlessly flowing data and ensure information is always accurate and current throughout an organization. I highly recommend watching the demo which is available upon request. (Contact us for access.)

5. The FINEOS Platform – a robust technology strategy for the future

We also looked at the technology of our platform with FINEOS CTO, Jonathan Boylan during the session FINEOS OpenCore: The Benefits of Being SaaS in a Digital Ecosystem. He explained how our technology choices are designed to best support the market as it stands, and gave an overview of our strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the Employee Benefits industry. We see AWS as a foundational partner and have an extraordinarily strong technical and business relationship with them.

6. Outdated systems are costing carriers millions of dollars

Dan Watt and Alex Terry did a wonderful job of taking us through some real-world examples of how outdated systems are costing carriers money. In their session, Realizing Measurable Benefits of Technology Innovation, they discussed the tangible dollars carriers can expect to recoup by solving problems like claims leakage and inefficiencies caused by legacy systems.

It’s important to understand how improving operational workflows and tightening handoffs between systems can benefit an organization. We heard about the real value of those kinds of improvements, and how carriers can potentially recoup several million dollars by preventing premium leakage or claims leakage throughout their system.

7. FINEOS is on the path to advanced machine learning capabilities

Finally, we had an opportunity to introduce you to the leaders of our new acquisition, Spraoi, a leading provider of machine learning capabilities for the Group Life and Employee Benefits industry. In our session Bringing It All Together, Chuck Johnston took Spraoi co-founders, Karan Mishra and Santoash Rajaram through a discussion of what they are doing in the insurance space.

FINEOS acquired Spraoi not only because are they great at machine learning but they’re also experts in employee benefits, which is our singular focus. They talked through some of the trends they see in the current market, and how they will be working with FINEOS to deliver advanced digital and machine learning capabilities for our clients.

Just walking through the day, we provided a wealth of valuable information and covered a lot of important topics for our industry. We hope that you will watch the recordings of all our great sessions from the 2021 FINEOS Virtual Exchange, and follow up with us to learn more about the benefits of the FINEOS Platform for Employee Benefits.

 

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