For years, the health insurance industry has lagged behind others when it comes to digital transformation. Only five years ago, healthcare was ranked near the bottom of the McKinsey Industry Digitization Index. While many Brokers and other major players in the health insurance space have since worked to improve digitization efforts, there was still some resistance.
Then, COVID-19 hit, and suddenly Brokers still using paper-based systems were left scrambling to digitize their business. While it’s uncertain when the crisis will end, Brokers need to look beyond short-term solutions and consider long-term plans when it comes to implementing new technologies and accelerating the digitization process. Here are five tips for Brokers to fast-track the digitization process to keep business running smoothly not just through the crisis but also in a post-COVID world.
Prepare Your Groups Ahead of Time
As you prepare to make the transition from paper to digital for your Agency, be sure to prepare your Groups as well. To ensure a smooth onboarding process, your Groups shouldn’t find out about a new enrollment process at the last minute. It’s important to empower Employers with resources to educate their Employees about the switch to a new technology ahead of time, so they can digest the information and have time to prepare for the new process. While digital solutions like FormFire are proven to be more efficient than paper-based methods, the first year of any digital transformation typically involves the most work. Plenty of notice can help Groups be ready for any bumps and more readily embrace the new technology.
Simplify the Data Collection Process
One way to streamline the switch from paper to online is to simplify the data collection process. With paper data collection, employees usually fill out a form for every Carrier, but with FormFire's Intelligent Employee Interview, Employees only have to fill out one application online that can then be mapped to match multiple Carrier forms. In addition, the information they provide stays in the system year over year, whereas they’d have to refill out paper forms. This saves Employees time and makes following years a matter of updating their information when necessary.
Preload Group Information
Along with simplifying the data collection process, FormFire offers an Information Preloader where nearly every piece of information can be added to an Employees account ahead of time. This information can be provided by Employers, which can then be loaded into the system by a Broker. In turn, the only data that Employees need to provide are their medical histories and specific plan selections, which can speed up the transition process for Group members trying to track down their information.
Have a Strong Support Team
A good support system is a big help toward making the transition from paper to online quick and easy. To avoid any unnecessary delays or frustrations, make sure that you have options to turn to for help. With FormFire, our Client Services team not only supports the Broker in leveraging our software, but the Employer and Employees as well. Additionally, if Employees are having trouble making reelections digitally, Brokers have the ability to assign the health plan to Employees who need assistance or aren’t waiving coverage.
Evaluate Security Measures
Part of the resistance to digitize the benefits enrollment process is due to privacy concerns. In fast-tracking the shift to digital, be sure to take the time to inquire about a software’s privacy and security requirements. FormFire is HIPAA and HITECH compliant and HITRUST certified, which means that the only people who will ever access personal data are the Employee, the Broker and the Carrier.