Oct 02, 2023

Embracing the Digital Era of Employee Benefits –How Insurers Around the Globe are Responding

In the ever-evolving landscape of the corporate world, the digital revolution has left no stone unturned. One of the most notable shifts has been witnessed in the realm of employee benefits insurance. Traditionally a domain dominated by paperwork and lengthy processes, the advent of digitalization has ushered in a new era of efficiency, accessibility, and personalization. Insurope, THE premier multinational pooling network, recently discussed this topic with Network Members across the globe to uncover key trends.

The Paradigm Shift

The global insurance industry has embraced technology as a catalyst for transformation, and employee benefits insurance is no exception. The digital revolution has redefined the way employers offer and manage benefits for their workforce, creating a more streamlined and employee-centric experience. In fact, over 34% of our Network Members report changes in products and services since the pandemic due to shifting customer demands. This includes a move towards more Telemedicine—an area where we have seen the majority of our Network Members invest in, across the globe. While overall, we see the most growth in the Americas, Europe and Asia are moving quickly, as well. Even in the Central and Eastern Europe where developments are not as far ahead, our Network Member UNIQA is investing and taking the chance to be the first mover in respect of offering eServices, even if this means an investment as it is an investment for the future that will pay back. And we expect to see more in the coming years in the Middle East and Africa towards digitalization, as well. HSBC Life, our Network Member in Singapore, also reports an acceleration of the inclusion of telemedicine as a standard offering of any health insurance policy.

Accessibility Redefined

Digitalization has shattered geographical barriers, allowing companies to offer benefits to a diverse, globally dispersed workforce. Through online platforms and mobile applications, employees can access their benefits information with a few clicks, regardless of their location. This level of accessibility ensures that every member of the workforce can easily access the advantages of their benefits package.

GNP, our Network Member in Mexico, is dedicated to this type of accessibility. And it is clear in their motto, "The customer at the center.” Additionally, Company App, "Soy Cliente GNP" allows customers to perform many procedures to improve efficiency and time.

Customization and Personalization

Personalization has become a cornerstone of the digital employee benefits experience. Advanced algorithms and data analytics enable insurers to tailor benefits packages to individual employee needs and preferences. This not only enhances employee satisfaction but also maximizes the value of the benefits offered, ensuring that each employee receives the coverage they require.

And our Network Member in Brazil, Care Plus, agrees—reporting that COVID-19 has raised customers' expectations for personalized services. There is a constant search for digital programs that offer medical care, from a simple elective consultation to the need for immediate care. In this way, Care Plus came out ahead of the market, offering the Telemedicine service. In addition, Care Plus also launched Mental Health to support its customers' mental health, one of the most used services since the pandemic, a reflection of the new movement where mental health is treated with the same importance as physical health.

Streamlined Administration

Digital platforms have revolutionized the administrative aspect of employee benefits insurance. Automated systems for enrollment, claims processing, and policy management have significantly reduced the administrative burden on HR departments. This efficiency translates into cost savings for employers and a smoother experience for employees.

For example, our Network Member in China Ping An has reported that it is focused on digitalization internally and to improve service and meet expectations to have online access and fast service. The key, they said, is finding a balance so that they can offer more online access so clients can receive services faster and quicker than before—but also ensure it is not at the expense of the personal service that customers have come to expect from Ping An.

Enhanced Communication and Education

Digital platforms have become a powerful tool for communication and education about employee benefits. Employers can distribute information, updates, and educational resources through various channels, including emails, webinars, and interactive tutorials. This ensures that employees are well-informed about their benefits, leading to better utilization and appreciation.

Ping An Good Doctor strives to bridge communication gap between doctors and patients with expertise, convenience, and trust. It is committed to building an Internet healthcare platform with the largest scale, the most advanced models, and the highest entry barriers in China.

The strong service capabilities offered by the platform include:

  • Self-employed family doctors: 24/7 support, connecting various healthcare services
  • Online: Consultation, second medical opinion by famous doctors, prescription for drug purchase, and health management
  • Offline: Hospital visit assistance, famous doctor services, health checkup services, local healthy life

Integration with Wellness Programs

The convergence of digital employee benefits and wellness programs has created a holistic approach to employee Wellbeing. Integrated platforms now offer a seamless experience, allowing employees to track their health and wellness goals alongside managing their benefits. This synergy fosters a culture of Wellbeing within organizations, leading to healthier, more engaged employees.

In France, Insurope Network Member, GAN, shares that its product development approach is to offer the best in class services currently on the market with a tailor-made approach for each client and a selection of top-up service providers. GAN has created its own service company “Welii” that offers a wide range of services dedicated to employees’ eye care, Wellbeing, telemedicine, second diagnostics, and prevention.

Data-Driven Insights

The digitalization of employee benefits insurance has unlocked a treasure trove of data. Insurers can now analyze trends, utilization patterns, and employee preferences to refine and enhance benefit offerings. This data-driven approach not only benefits the employer but also enables insurers to continuously innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce.

GAN is also a good example if this—leveraging data and analytics to help employers understand trends absenteeism and return to work.

Embracing the Future

As the global workforce continues to evolve, so too will the digital landscape of employee benefits insurance. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, and augmented reality are poised to further revolutionize the industry, promising even greater efficiency, security, and personalization. HSBC Life concurs reporting that automated claims, services, and AI are some of the top trends it is seeing.

By embracing technology, companies are not only streamlining administrative processes but also creating a more inclusive, personalized, and data-informed benefits experience. As we move forward, the marriage of technology and insurance will undoubtedly shape the future of employee benefits on a global scale, and you can be sure that Insurope’s Network Members—the leading insurers in their respective regions—will be leading the way!