Category: Carriers

Consumers Still Baffled by Health Insurance Websites

By Sally Poblete

In the process of assisting several individual consumers and small groups in finding coverage, I visited and used many insurance company websites, in addition to the State and Federal marketplaces. It was a very humbling and gratifying experience to service consumers who were confused and frustrated by their health insurance search experience. Here’s what I found: 

Terminology and Network Very Confusing to Consumers

Consumers were confused by common insurance terminology and how it could impact them. They did not know the names of the networks needed to determine which doctors and hospitals were included in their network. For example, a consumer may have had an in-network doctor from a prior plan with their employer, but that same doctor may be out-of-network in an individual plan of the same carrier. A consumer needs to know the name of the network and how to search the right provider directory in order to access accurate information. Without that information, they may purchase a plan that does not cover their current doctors or provide the benefits they need. The carrier website network searches were cumbersome, and the State and Federal marketplaces also did not offer adequate support in this area.

Carrier Websites Far From Intuitive

Carrier websites offered helpful summaries of the plans. However, they did not always include SBCs (summary of benefits and coverage), which is necessary to drill into the details. In addition, a consumer would have to research each carrier’s website individually to determine what the plan would actually cover. It was challenging to find both the prices and the level of detail on the same site. 

The bottom line is that the user needs to understand that the carriers, networks, and products can differ drastically. Consumers could easily purchase a plan that doesn’t cover them appropriately or include a network that doesn’t meet their needs. Consumers need the information in an easy-to-digest format that explains the nuances of the various plan options in a way they can understand. 

I understand the aggravation and headache that people feel when trying to navigate such an important buying decision. It is not surprising that Aflac found that just over 40% of employees surveyed would rather be subjected to some form of discomfort, like doing three hours of hot yoga or cleaning up dog poop, than research their insurance benefits during open enrollment. 

Part of the reason why I started Wellthie was to simplify the way that people learn about and choose insurance. I always knew that this was a significant goal, and working with consumers first hand reinforces our mission.  

Small Business Medical Carriers: What Is Your Approach To Digital Sales?

By Sally Poblete

By 2020, millennials and Gen Xers will collectively own more than 60% of U.S. small businesses. Industry trends are shaping the shopping behavior of health insurance consumers. Business owners are looking for the ability to shop for plans online, and health insurance carriers should take note, lest they lose these prospects to their competitors. The vast majority of health insurance carriers could be missing a growing demographic of small businesses who are starting their insurance shopping journey online. One of the top carriers in the health insurance market is currently offering an online shopping experience on their website. Stay ahead of your competitors by opting to provide your small business owner prospects with a modern, holistic, and delightfully simple platform to drive sales while still supporting your broker community. What are you currently doing to attract small business owner prospects?

How Do You Stack Up Against Top Competitors?

One of the major small group health insurance carriers already offers an online shopping experience for their prospects. Providing an accurate and quick quote for your prospects in just a few minutes is an essential competitive advantage. Your competitors are capturing leads that can be utilized by either your internal sales team or your broker partners.

Considering A Build?

While an internal build is an option for carriers it could take over 12 months to complete. Furthermore, complex rating factors and changing regulations would require a great deal of effort to build and maintain. There are software solutions available that would only require a limited amount of your tech team’s time and energy. 

New Leads For Your Top Brokers

A direct to employer approach would allow small business owners to easily shop for your plans online. These highly qualified leads could then be passed to your top brokers or internal sales teams. The lead would include details about the small business that are necessary for enrollment. Given the typical time and effort required to find new leads, a carrier can enhance broker relationships with new employer leads.

What Is Everyone Else Doing?

Capturing a prospect’s information through an online lead form is by far the most common experience offered by carriers today. Small business owners complete these forms and then wait days or weeks (and even months) to get a response back from a broker. By that time, the business owner has moved on to another carrier or another task in their busy day. Don’t miss the opportunity to provide the information your prospect is looking for when they are looking for it directly on your website.  

How Can Wellthie Help?

Nearly 50% of small and medium-sized enterprises will buy insurance online within the next 5 years. Wellthie offers a full-suite solution that provides carriers with a digital shopping experience for small business prospects. Wellthie can help your company increase sales:

  • Reach an underserved market of micro-groups who may find it challenging to find a broker 
  • Appeal to business owners who prefer the convenience and transparency of researching insurance shopping online
  • Simplify the customer experience for your small business owners while ALSO generating leads for your top brokers
  • Save on administrative costs by streamlining your internal/external broker/sales rep’s activities 
  • Make the transition at a portion of the cost of building the platform in-house  
  • Implement within 60 days! White-labeled deployment is available without the lag time and high cost of an internal build

Capture these new leads in a cost-effective and holistic manner that does not disrupt your broker distribution efforts. Contact Wellthie today for a free demo of what your new digital distribution platform could look like just in time for the 4th quarter!

3 InsurTech Trends Expected to Accelerate in 2019

By Sally Poblete, Founder and CEO of Wellthie

The excitement increasingly surrounding insurtech indicates that 2019 promises to be an even more meaningful and game-changing time for the insurtech space. Here are three insurtech trends you should keep an eye out for in 2019 and beyond.

This year was a breakout one for insurtech companies. The insurance industry has been long overdue for innovation and disruption, and 2018 saw the industry attracting both talent and funding. FT Partners Research announced InsurTech’s quarterly financing volume for Q3 2018 totaled $1.2 Billion, which is up from $749 Million in Q2 2018. The excitement increasingly surrounding insurtech indicates that 2019 promises to be an even more meaningful and game-changing time for the insurtech space. Here are three insurtech trends you should keep an eye out for in 2019 and beyond.

Sophisticated analytics
Any successful insurtech startup is not only passionate about transforming the current insurance model to be more cost-effective and automated, but is invested in exploring the role data analytics plays at the core of this process. Intelligent and productive data aggregation, integration and analysis, are crucial in achieving this.

When it comes to data analytics, the insurance industry’s antiquated business model has much room for improvement. Insurtech is modernizing insurance as we know it by implementing advanced big data analytics to optimize insurance products and services. And investors are taking notice. Significant investments are being made in data analytics and modeling techniques to improve nearly every part of the business. By embracing data analytics, your business can gain a competitive advantage by finding “new revenue opportunities, enhancing customer service, delivering more effective marketing, and improving operational efficiency.” Over time, this rise in digital innovation is sure to bring significant opportunities for a more efficient, competitive and sustainable progress for insurtech as a whole.

Transparency

The vast and complex insurance industry has long awaited simplification. Insurers’ underwriting models have historically been a black box for consumers, while easy comparisons of complex data have been reserved for the experts. Transparency is critical to earning the trust of customers, especially in this digital age. People are now accustomed to online shopping, and they want procuring insurance plans to be less complicated — similar to shopping for and purchasing other high ticket items such as homes and financial products. Consumers desire their pricing and product information to not only be transparent, but comparable as “apples to apples” so they can make smarter choices. Users can access online marketplaces to compare prices and benefits of different plans side-by-side.

Partnerships between carriers and innovators

There is a deepening need for laser-focused investments and partnerships between carriers and innovators as insurtech has now matured into an everyday business. Insurance executive and insurtech dealmaker, Stephen Goldstein argues that “the team is what is ultimately going to make an Insurtech initiative a success,” meaning that incumbents and insurance leaders executing partnerships with insurtech companies are part of the recipe that is going to provide a positive ROI and make insurtech thrive as an industry. While 2018 was a year of exploring and experimentation for insurtech, 2019 will be the year of engaging and deepening those relationships.

At the start of 2018, insurance professionals predicted that the number of partnerships and collaborations between carriers and innovators would only gather momentum over the next year. And in June 2018, The Digital Insurer reported that partnerships remained a priority where insurtech was concerned. Insurtech companies are actively enabling new technologies which are utilized to provide increased efficiency and the ability to execute new tasks and analyses. These technologies are changing the industry on a fundamental level, all the while causing more incumbents to adopt these capabilities through investments or partnerships to compete effectively. The possibilities alone suggest that there will be expected growth in partnerships throughout the end of 2018 and well into 2019.

Conclusion

2018 proved to be a massive year for insurtech, with a dramatic increase in funding from Q2 2018 to Q3 2018. There has been demand for skillfully acquired and implemented analytics, transparent experiences for consumers and mutually beneficial partnerships. All three trends are being successfully observed in 2018, and are believed to gather more momentum to lead us into 2019 and later.

Previously published here on www.benefitspro.com

Wellthie Recognized in Inaugural InsurTech 100 List of Tech Pioneers Transforming Global Insurance Industry

Leading Insurtech Company Included Among the World’s Most Innovative Providers of Digital Solutions Having A Lasting Impact on the Insurance Industry

NEW YORKOct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Wellthie, a leading insurance technology provider offering the only national small group benefits marketplace that connects small business owners, insurance carriers, and brokers, announces that it has been included in the inaugural InsurTech 100 list of technology pioneers who are transforming the global insurance industry.

InsurTech (insurance technology) is one of the largest and most important sectors within the FinTech space. Over $7bn has been invested in InsurTech solution providers since 2015 as insurance and reinsurance firms as well as investors realize the huge impact new digital models are having on the industry. As incumbent financial institutions grapple with rapid innovation and digital transformation challenges, the InsurTech 100 was produced to identify the 100 innovative companies that every leader in the insurance industry needs to know about in 2019.

“We work hard every day to create a thriving ecosystem for small businesses, carriers, and brokers that is powered by great technology and human empathy,” said Sally Poblete, founder and CEO of Wellthie. “The Wellthie team is proud to be recognized on the InsurTech 100 list along with other global insurance innovators.”

The standout businesses were chosen by a panel of industry experts who reviewed an analysis of 637 InsurTech companies undertaken by FinTech Global, a data and research firm. Companies making the final cut were recognized for their innovative use of technology to solve a significant industry problem, or to generate cost savings or efficiency improvements across the insurance value chain.

A full list of the InsurTech 100 can be found at http://www.TheInsurTech100.com.

About Wellthie
Wellthie is helping to modernize the insurance shopping experience, offering the first and only national small group benefits marketplace designed to help small businesses find health insurance online, insurance carriers maximize product distribution, and brokers optimize small group sales. Wellthie’s enterprise-ready SaaS platform is available to small business, carriers, and brokers nationwide. Visit www.wellthie.com to learn more.