Tom's Take Blog
November 28, 2016
How does evolving technology play a role in employee benefits?
Tom’s Take: It’s hard to imagine what employee benefits would look like today without so many advances in technology. As people have moved online and digital channels have become a main means for communicating, many of us in the benefits/TPA industry have worked to stay a step ahead.
For a firm like Cypress, that starts with the way we provide service. Our Cypress Online is a portal-based platform with login access that was implemented several years ago. With it, so many employee benefit functions – including member enrollment, claims review and some aspects of customer service – can now be handled online. This has allowed HR pros, providers and plan members to simplify the way they gather info, track data and communicate. And the technology associated with this online progression has meant fewer headaches by minimizing things like extra paperwork, filing and phone calls.
The move to digital also carries over into the member programs we offer. The best example I can give here is telemedicine. As our society welcomes the conveniences technology allows (time/money savings, improved access, etc.), we have reached a point where patient/provider visits are happening by mobile app or video chat.
And speaking of mobile apps, consumers are able to do so much more benefits-related research in the age of smartphones. This ranges from using app-based services for finding the most cost-effective provider in a 30-mile radius to comparing prescription prices at local pharmacies.
As most of my TPA peers would agree, technology is something we definitely embrace in the employee benefits industry on a day-to-day basis. Any advances we can incorporate into our services/member programs and build into client health plans are worth it when we see how they help control costs, lead to better health and make people’s jobs and lives easier.