Earlier this month, FINEOS had the pleasure of being a premier sponsor of the LIMRA Enrollment Technology Strategy Seminar (ETSS) in Jacksonville, FL. LIMRA assembled a diverse set of experts from the various stakeholders within the Enrollment, Core Services, and Benefits Administration technology universe. This spanned Enrollment vendors, Benefits Administration Platform providers, Insurtech firms, Core Platform providers, and oh yeah… Carriers… can’t forget them! It was also 70 degrees and sunny and the Eagles had just won the Super Bowl, so we could have covered advanced calculus and I would have been pretty pleased.
In one of the early sessions, representatives from ADP, Forrester, and Prudential discussed the impact that APIs have had on the enrollment world. The logical place to start was the Evidence of Insurability (EOI) process, or more importantly the online capture of EOI. This holds a special place in my heart as I spent a good part of my career working with some excellent partners and colleagues building an integrated enrollment to EOI experience.
But before we endeavor down the EOI path too far, let’s back up a bit in the process. The place to really start a conversation around EOI is enrollment. Most enrollment platforms or benefits administration platforms have solved or are in the midst of solving the user experience process. They’ve built and are constantly improving slick decision support experiences that guide a user to the appropriate coverage choices, based on as much data as they have available. Things such as product packaging, online calculators, and avatars have been brought to bear in order to provide a high quality and informed experience. This has proven successful on many ends, for example, when you place coverages like Critical Illness (CI) after Medical Insurance in an enrollment experience, you see a 28% increase in CI enrollments. This part of the process or UI has been developed well over the past 5 – 7 years.
Additionally, the consumer education process has improved, with both enrollment technologies and carriers addressing how to best educate the consumer throughout the enrollment engagement, from pre-enrollment mailings to post enrollment EOI reminders. Both aspects of the process typically reside within the enrollment tech’s space, so the ability to make improvements can almost solely reside within the firm’s prioritization. The last aspect that is solely within the enrollment tech’s space is plan designs. We’ve seen both the Benefit Administration and Enrollment firms create or ‘shelf’ most carriers’ products to aid the implementation process. In this way, during implementation, it’s not a new build every time they use Carrier X’s life products; it’s a question of how do we configure? What are the face values? GI levels? Etc, etc…
So, getting back to EOI. That last sentence either gave you chills or flashbacks to enrollment periods stretching through Summer with stacks of medical history forms spread through the office. We know online EOI is “table stakes” in today’s market. However, the ability to provide an integrated Enrollment-to-EOI experience has either proven very successful or an epic fail. This is low hanging fruit as it’s a virtual win-win for all parties: consumer, vendor and carrier. Or, as Michael Scott, the Fictional Manager in the series “The Office” once aptly coined: “It’s a Win-Win-Win situation”.
The consumer benefits from an easier process to attain more coverage. The carrier increases their market penetration, while adding ‘good risk’ to their book. The enrollment vendor processes more volume. Everybody wins. When done well, the carrier can improve overall EOI completion percentages from the typical 30% to north of 70%, and in some cases 90%, success rate.
Sounds great, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. We’ll dive deeper into how this is done effectively, land mines to avoid, and cover a few more API topics in my next post. Thanks for reading and please feel free to reach out directly with any comments or questions at Dan.Watt@FINEOS.com.