Voluntary carriers expect a continued increase in the demand for online, self-service and virtual benefits enrollments, according to Eastbridge’s 2021 Enrollment and Technology Funding Practices of Voluntary Carriers Spotlight Report.
“The need for tech-enabled enrollments was already increasing when the pandemic hit,” said Nick Rockwell, Eastbridge president. “As more people started working from home, demand for online and virtual options increased dramatically, driving increased carrier investment in technology partnerships.”
However, the increasing use of technology for benefits enrollments doesn’t signal an end to personal support, the report shows. Carriers surveyed cite overall better participation and improved benefits understanding when in-person methods such as one-to-one meetings, group or individual virtual meetings, or telephonic support are part of the process.
The Enrollment and Technology Funding Practices of Voluntary Carriers Spotlight Report surveys 32 voluntary benefit carriers to provide detailed information on current enrollment services, methods and preferences. It also examines carriers’ approach to technology funding and results produced by different enrollment methods.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Voluntary carriers continue to expand the number of technology partnerships they work with, since brokers or employers typically have the deciding voice on which enrollment platform to use.
- Most carriers see the highest percentage of their sales from third-party vendors rather than their own internal, proprietary platforms.
- Technology funding requests are putting increasing pressure on carriers’ profitability, as brokers and employers expect them to subsidize tech or benefits administration fees most of the time.
- A wide variety of print, electronic and in-person communication is essential to drive strong participation in voluntary enrollments. Other best practices include an active enrollment strategy, mandatory meetings and positioning voluntary products directly after core benefit offerings.
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