Benefits Tech: Top trends for employers to watch in 2020

Technology has long been transforming benefits administration, from the way employees enroll in their benefits to the way they get reimbursed for claims, and much more. In order to apply these advancements in your overall benefits strategy, it’s important to be aware of what’s coming next.

Here are a few of this year’s top trends, shared by two of Voya Employee Benefits’ enrollment technology leaders: Tim O’Connor, Director of Partner Integration and Krista Manning, AVP, EB Enrollment Technology.   

How tech is continuing to transform in 2020

Tech is helping the right people get into the right plans

One big trend for 2020, according to O’Connor, is personalization. “Our industry is building new tools to help recommend an appropriate suite of benefits to an employee,” he said. “Standalone systems are being built to do that, and a few of the more sophisticated or upmarket benefits administration platforms are creating their own recommendation engines.”

These tools factor in details like the employee’s current financial state, their debt, their family situation, age, income and more. “It helps them answer the question, ‘Where should my next dollar go?’” O’Connor said. “Should I buy up more disability income insurance, or should I put more in an HSA? Or more in a 401k? I see these recommendation engines as a pretty big trend right now.”

Voya offers several different recommendation tools in its digital platforms right now, with others currently in development. Additional recommendation tools may also be available, depending on your enrollment platform. Contact your Voya Employee Benefits representative to learn more.

Tech is proactively reminding employees when they may be eligible for a claim

Another way tech is helping employees make the most of their benefits is through claim integration, a process by which insurance companies use medical data or other information to adjudicate and/or remind employees about the potential to file a claim.

“If we can leverage technology to help people get the benefits of the coverage they’ve paid for and enrolled in, then that’s doing the right thing for our customer—and it offers huge value to the employer,” O’Connor said.

Voya Employee Benefits has made claim integration a priority for 2020, and currently offers product-to-product claim integration for several supplemental health insurance products.

“We have several examples of how our product-to-product claim integration process is already helping employees who may have otherwise forgotten about a benefit,” O’Connor said. “And we’re excited to be piloting the use of medical data to trigger claim reminders this year, too.”

Tech is helping organizations manage change

As more employers move to high deductible health plans (HDHPs), complementary products like health savings accounts and supplemental health insurance can help ease the transition, according to Manning. “Benefits tech has been able to help with this change, by enabling easy access to communication and education for employees who are transitioning to HDHPs,” she said.

In some cases, education may be woven into the enrollment experience. In others, as is the case with customized, employer-specific Voya Employee Benefits Resource Centers, education may take place on microsites that offer a wider range of education.

“Everyone—me, you, HR—is pinched for time, and trying to find ways to spend more time on value add activities,” Manning said. “Today’s tech can offer an efficient way for an employee to learn about HSAs and supplemental health insurance and why they may want to consider these products. In addition, it takes some of the burden off employers in terms of communicating and educating their employees on these benefits.”

Tech is starting to simplify leave management

For many employers, the regulatory requirements associated with Federal, State and company-specific leave can feel like a moving target. “Leave laws are constantly changing, and they’re different in every state,” Manning said. “The compliance aspect can be really stressful for HR managers.”

“Tech is just starting to step in here, with data enabling the leave management services that carriers can provide,” Manning continued. “You’re starting to see a shift in how time and attendance modules in these platforms are becoming a solution. As carriers take on administration of leave, those modules become more important, and are able to help with benefits decision-making.”

If leave management is a source of stress for your organization, keep in mind that Voya Employee Benefits offers fully-integrated leave management services for Short and Long-Term Disability leave; Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave; Federal, State, and company-specific leave; Paid Family Leave (PFL /PFML); and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) leave. Contact your Voya Employee Benefits representative to learn more.

Tech is becoming more efficient and consistent

As all this tech continues to develop, a call for consistency has been made, according to O’Connor. “Historically the exchange of data across carriers and enrollment partners has been kind of the wild west,” he said. “But there’s an effort that the carriers have been working on, as well as ben admin partners and LIMRA, to create a standard for exchanging data.”

Voya has been participating alongside these groups in the development of that standard, which is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2020. Both O’Connor and Manning agree that this will have a big impact on employers in the long run.

“If you don’t have a system that’s handling that data exchange, guess who’s doing it: you are,” Manning said. “You’re going into the carrier’s portal and updating it manually, you’re mucking with a spreadsheet, you’re dealing with paper. These data standards are going to make it all much more efficient.”

For the team at Voya Employee Benefits, increases in efficiency and flexibility are what these advancements in tech are all about.

“Our tech-agnostic, tech-friendly approach has set Voya apart, and we continue to invest in our efforts to be easy to work with,” O’Connor said. “And it’s why we build products that can fit with almost any technology.”

To learn more, contact your Voya Employee Benefits representative.





Voya Leave Management services are provided by Disability RMS, Inc.

Voya Absence Resources services are provided by FMLASource®, Inc. AbsenceResources is a registered trademark of ComPsych Corporation.

Health Savings and Spending Accounts are accounts offered by Voya Benefits Company, LLC (in New York, doing business as Voya BC, LLC) and administered by WEX Health, Inc.

Insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within the State of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products issued. Both are members of the Voya® family of companies. Voya Employee Benefits is a division of both companies. Product availability and specific provisions may vary by state.

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