Today’s health insurance industry is being fueled by consumer-centric trends, and technology is a major accelerant. Brokers who want to compete and thrive in this increasingly self-service marketplace need to embrace technology as an effective way to improve customer service and build business.
The fact is we live in a world where computing and access to information is at our fingertips. This new reality gives consumers the power to go online and research, compare, select and manage coverage and benefit choices, all from their phone, tablet, laptop or other device.
On the flipside, technology provides brokers with opportunities to increase their role as invaluable experts and resources for employers, employees and individuals. Service is the way forward to success, and technology can help pave the way. Here are five ways technology can help brokers.
Online provider directories. With the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act metal tiers and increasing provider network options, now more than ever consumers need help finding health insurance that gives them access to the doctors and hospitals they want. Having the option to use an online directory makes it easy for brokers to quickly find out what physicians and hospitals are part of each health plan’s provider network.
Online quoting. Being able to provide consumers with health insurance pricing almost instantaneously is one of our industry’s biggest technological advances. Brokers who offer online quoting on their websites or use an exchange or carrier with an online quoting feature can quickly provide clients with multiple options to consider before making a health care decision. For brokers without a website, find a technology partner to help.
Faster, cleaner online enrollments. There once was a time when filling out multiple enrollment forms and confirming their accuracy could take hours. This process has been simplified and is often available online. Working with carrier and exchange partners who offer these technological advances allows brokers to better serve their clients. It also makes it easy to manage existing and new clients throughout the enrollment process.
Consumer decision-support tools. Decision-support tools are more important than ever and help guide consumers to the health plan and benefits that best meet their health care needs and budget. Look for partners who offer consumer-decision support tools, which in turn help you provide more value to your clients.
Make the most of online management tools. Brokers now have access to online resources and portals that allow them to easily manage clients — in real-time. Tools like monthly bill management, forms, online employee changes (new hires/terminations) and more help boost your service capabilities and increase your value to clients.