Why Technology Isn’t Replacing Insurance Brokers

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Health Tech

Imagine every morning you get ready to leave your home and have absolutely no idea what the weather will be. You don’t know yesterday’s temperature and you can’t see outside, you just have to hope that when you’re wearing shorts and a t-shirt you don’t walk into a blizzard.

Navigating your company’s healthcare needs can often feel like this. You have to choose from a suite of benefits and balance cost with the extent of coverage. You have to decide whether you should be prepared for a blizzard or a sudden downpour, neither or both. And all of that comes with its own risks and costs. You might pay for too much coverage, too little, or pay to prepare for one event and get hit by another.

Just as computers led to a huge leap in our ability to forecast the weather, new technology is providing consumers a better assessment of their healthcare needs and utilization. That is not to say that technology itself can resolve your healthcare questions. A computer’s weather predictions are based on endless data, and meteorologists still improve accuracy by 25% when they interpret the computer’s output and make their own predictions. In your healthcare coverage, where there is significantly less data and more at risk, we recommend combining the power of analytics and healthcare navigation platforms with the experience of a broker.

Integrate technology to maximize ROI in healthcare

Technology can aid in the entire process, from choosing the type of coverage to deciding which benefits to add to making sure those benefits are used appropriately and effectively. But the key to reducing healthcare costs while improving health is integrating these steps. It doesn’t matter how good your plan is if you’re not using it properly. An umbrella won’t protect you from rain if it never leaves the closet.

New plan comparison tools can help you choose the right benefit coverage at the right price, then other software can track employee usage. We at HealthJoy, for example, have designed a platform to improve engagement with your plan while keeping you informed on plan utilization. This type of information can then help you adjust your coverage the following year.

If you’re thinking, “Researching all of the plans, what they cover, and then also all of the technology sounds like a full-time job,” you’re right. Brokers can be your benefits and tech experts, able to match you with the best protection and the best opportunity to use that coverage. While many people may think that greater access to technology and information online reduces the need for a broker, information overload can overwhelm us or trick us into making worse decisions. You might think you’re an expert stock-picker when the entire market is moving up, but your same strategy will get you into trouble when the market turns. Benefits consultants won’t fall into that trap. 

When you combine the right technology with the right broker, everybody wins. Your broker and other technology will make sure you not only have an umbrella when it rains, but that you also use it.

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