With new capabilities to enhance benefits buying and administration becoming available almost daily, selecting the best solutions requires a focus on design and user experience. Here are five digital solution trends that are top of mind for employers and members.

Simplicity – Be user friendly
Although new digital solutions make tasks easier, they can appear to be complicated. The best solutions challenge traditional processes and drive for simplification. New technology can be overwhelming so comparing new solutions to existing processes is helpful to improve adoption and make sure the proposed technology does make HR tasks easier. Dashboards that offer consolidated information, detailed guidance at each step, proactive prompts to help clients complete tasks – any “hand-holding” aspect – will ease HR teams into the new technology and create trust with their broker partners and solution providers.

Blended Solutions – Technology and personal service are a powerful combination
You can offer the most advanced, innovative, disruptive technology ever built, and it won’t mean a thing if you can’t offer educational support and customer service behind it. It’s important to recognize that digital innovation on its own can’t automate all the details and complexity embedded in employee benefits. Employers and employees want the modern conveniences of technology, but they still need products that offer the coverage and services they need, and the education or troubleshooting to engage those benefits when they file a claim. The people behind the technology are still a key component to a successful experience. A recent Sun Life survey shows that 47% of employers want some sort of live support for their digital benefits experience, whether it’s via video, chat or over the phone. Understanding the service options embedded within digital solutions is a must. 

Integration – Connect all the dots
In 2021, the number of HR systems used by a single employer rose by 60%, according to SHRM. Plan design, absence management, and eligibility are all complex administrative tasks that HR must constantly contend with, and employees want more understanding of their benefits options and the coverages they need. As tech solutions expand, they need to connect and work effectively with each other, sharing data without duplicating tasks. Look for points of integration, connectivity and partnerships that drive enhancements to improve the end-to-end experience. 

Automation – Take out the busywork
Without advanced connectivity to support platforms, digital engagement won’t move the productivity needle for employers. Solutions must incorporate API or other connective technology like EDX, to automate the menial work HR professionals are looking to get off their plates, like updating eligibility and building benefit plans within a benefits admin system. Not only does automation make the day-to-day lives of HR easier and allow teams to focus on things like employee engagement, but it also reduces the potential for mistakes that could impact an employee if and when they file a claim.

Access – Meet employees where they are
The communications model for benefits used to be Insurers   Broker Employer   Member/Employee. As employees continue to take on more decision-making responsibility each year during enrollment, it’s more common for insurers and brokers to communicate directly with both the employer and the member, often in a coordinated effort. There are many different opportunities for this to take place, be it during enrollment, filing a claim, or simply seeking clarification on benefits. Partnering with providers who are committed to enhancing benefits communication via technology and services will ensure that no matter where the client is, their needs can be met quickly and efficiently.

As the rate of innovation grows and new solutions come to market, insurers can continue driving the quality of the benefits experience– both the interaction with digital technology and the benefit offerings themselves.