In some ways, the world of employee benefits can seem quite simple: workers want things like healthcare, retirement plans, and some quality-of-life boosters — all things that no business should have difficulty securing for them, right? Well, not so fast. The pandemic has shifted employee priorities and the massage rooms and ping pong tables of yesteryear are now making way for long-term remote work opportunities. More than anything else, COVID-19 has reaffirmed the importance of one thing in the minds of employees everywhere: an affordable and usable health insurance plan.
While providing health insurance for workers is a no-brainer for most medium and large businesses, finding cost-effective plans is no small task. Sorting through the fine details of each plan, trying to determine which will provide the greatest benefit for your team can be a taxing process. Jason Zuccari, vice president of the Hamilton Insurance Agency, has a large chunk of his career trying to help businesses do just this — as a result, he’s got plenty of insight to share on the subject.
The chief concern should always be, of course, affordability and value for workers. Cutting too many corners at the expense of your team’s coverage will result in increased attrition, higher absenteeism, and lower overall morale — cancelling out whatever cash you may have saved in picking a cheaper plan.
For Zuccari, there’s a crucial third factor that needs to be considered alongside coverage and affordability: usability. Few health insurance programs are truly user-friendly, but some are significantly more byzantine than others. It’s crucial that you know ahead of time exactly what the claims process and account management systems of a certain plan will look like, lest your workers get blindsided by tasks and requirements not present in other plans they may have previously had.
Even so, health insurance plans could almost always stand to undergo a bit of streamlining. It was for this reason that Zuccari helped oversee the creation of BeneBee, a mobile application published by Hamilton Insurance Agency that makes it easier for employees to manage their health benefits directly from their phones. One way of thinking of Benebee is as a user’s guide to your particular insurance plan: the app comes along with brand-specific handbooks for whatever provider your company is buying from, a personalized virtual insurance card, how-to guides for plan enrollment, and around-the-clock customer support and telemedicine channels.
No employer wants to see expensive elements of the plan they’ve chosen go underused or, worse yet, completely ignored. BeneBee ensures that workers stay fully abreast of the benefits available to them and are given lucid instructions on how to access them. Maybe the most impactful part of BeneBee for workers, though, comes in the early stages. With all of the supposed freedom that comes with open enrollment, it can also be a confusing and stressful process for workers to get a grip on by themselves. Coverage is around the corner, sure, but so are deductibles, co-pays, hidden fees, and who knows what else?
In order to aid in this process, BeneBee guides employees through it all step-by-step. Featuring in-depth guides, accessible videos, and the constant option to reach out for direct support, the BeneBee-facilitated enrollment process turns from a headache into a breeze, getting workers covered and keeping them aware of precisely what that coverage means for them financially. For Zuccari, the goal here is to keep costs low for both employers and employees — BeneBee ensures that employers don’t need to break the bank on precipitously high costs just to ensure a user-friendly experience for their teams.
For that reason, the streamlining process doesn’t just stop at worker enrollment. BeneLink Connect, also offered by Hamilton, is designed to help employers with the insurance management process much in the same way that BeneBee helps employees. Onboarding, tax reporting, invoicing, billing, data collection, auditing — BeneLink offers tools to assist in just about every aspect of insurance management. Combining BeneBee with BeneLink ensures that the burden of insurance plan management isn’t just getting shifted from employee to employer or vice versa. Zuccari wants to give businesses of all sizes the opportunity to outsource the heavy lifting here, letting companies instead focus on doing the work that they do best.
The age of bristling and wincing at the idea of needing to deal with health insurance is over — or at least Jason Zuccari declares that it should be. Tools are finally starting to emerge that can help mitigate the issues once thought endemic to insurance, and they’re affordable to just about every business that can afford an insurance plan in the first place. For Zuccari, the path forward is clear — and more and more businesses are starting to feel the exact same way.