Regardless of social or political turmoil making headlines, an invisible elephant has been sitting in the room since the 90s. This elephant is the cost of healthcare and health insurance, which is the largest single expense of the typical American family after housing. In fact, Americans spend $1.2 trillion per year on hospital care, which is more than the combined gross domestic product of 170 countries.
For the longest time, there was little explanation or financial breakdown as to why these bills were so high. Moreover, employers were habitually constrained by restrictive health care laws, which is particularly disheartening considering that just over half of Americans receive health coverage via their employer. However, this paradigm is changing for the better due to recent legislation.
Corporate Health Insurance Reimagined
These legislation changes have opened the door for competition in group health insurance, enabling substantially lower premiums from the individual market pricing. And while this legislation will permit employees to save on premiums and provide companies with greater flexibility when exploring healthcare plans, there is no tool or reliable method in the form of a software solution or application that can easily compare rates and simplify sign-ups. Similarly, employers lack technology that can seamlessly integrate their health insurance coverage into payroll systems for reimbursement – until now.
Digital healthcare marketplace platforms enable employees to conveniently explore healthcare plans to find the ideal fit for their unique needs rather than settling for group plans meant to serve as a staff average. Companies can drive contributions without having to build packages or manage open enrollment by providing individuals with the freedom to choose based on their personal requirements.
These digital marketplaces allow employees to go direct-to-carrier, avoiding the inefficiencies of group insurance pricing. This reimagining of previously held industry dogma exposes the lack of comparative pricing, which has led to higher group rates, bringing transparency to an otherwise decade of obscurity, drastically improving the healthcare and insurance industry. Essentially, direct-to-carrier marketplaces provide employers a way to get out of being subject to their own claims risk. This has far-reaching impacts on how much both employers and employees pay for coverage, and how stable those prices are over time.
When built correctly, these marketplaces allow the individual to own the plan, while allowing a true group experience that employees are used to, meaning it is tax advantaged. Built-in doctor look-up and plan comparison features, the employees are guided to better outcomes in both coverage and care.
HealthTech: The Fastest Growing Vertical in Healthcare
These digital platforms create a microcosm of a larger shift in the healthcare industry, which began during the pandemic with telehealth. While many may be familiar with the term “MedTech” and the various advances in medical devices for better treatment or diagnostic technologies for early and precise detection, few are aware of the burgeoning and fast-growing HealthTech vertical. The innovation and efficient health insurance marketplace platforms fall within the HealthTech category, as it represents a technology-focused healthcare product or service that optimizes patient-centric care outside the hospital or physician’s office. Other solutions in the HealthTech sector include cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the internet of medical things.
The Benefits of a Marketplace Platform for Group Health Insurance
In addition to greater flexibility of choice and the transparency of price comparability, direct-to-carrier marketplace software also reduces a company’s administrative burden of employee insurance packages, allowing that said employer to spend more time and effort engaging employees. The marketplace platform also enables streamlined integration into payroll systems and minimizes other risks and costs. And for the first time, employers in the large group category can compare unpublished rates against individual rates for every health plan in the US, empowering businesses with employees in multiple states to select available options in their respective areas.
On top of eliminating lengthy administrative processes, a marketplace platform for group health insurance will lead to significant savings for employees and employers. An organization paying $700 per employee could reduce that amount to $500 for the same plan through said platforms. Other projections have large employers saving as much as $85 thousand per month; direct-to-carrier could also help employers save up to 40%.
Long-term View of Digital Health Insurance Platforms
The future of HealthTech software solutions represents a change in the tide for employees and their health. Expanding the availability of plans will also help employers attract and retain top talent in their particular industries. People want benefits – evident by the growth in remote and hybrid work – and boosting wages isn’t enough to stay competitive with talent pools shrinking due to the great resignation. Technologies like Enrollme will create more satisfied, productive employees, which is especially important as businesses come to understand their critical role in the overall wellbeing of their workers.