When purchasing group life insurance, it’s tempting to think of it as a commodity. After all, life insurance coverage from one carrier to the next carrier can look similar–on the surface anyway. But peel back the layers and it’s a different story. When it comes to service, group life insurance is anything but a commodity.
It’s a brand new world out there and having robust online services is a baseline for the delivery of group life insurance. Many group insurance carriers boast user-friendly systems, but that doesn’t mean all group employer websites are the same. Employer websites have a wide range of capabilities when it comes to membership and billing, claims status and submission, downloadable forms and guides, and privacy standards. Consider these points when sizing up your carrier’s online offerings.
Membership and billing
An employer site should allow you to add and delete members on your plan. Ideally, employees can be searched by last name, and member information can be easily viewed or updated. Online billing should make your statements available for viewing when ready; some carriers will even alert you with an e-mail when new bills are posted. Statements are archived and can be accessed at a later date if needed.
The best sites offer customers an administrative reporting system. This allows you to analyze member benefits at a glance, track pending coverage changes, or even generate one-page coverage summaries for each employee. Reports can be exported and uploaded to your HRIS or internal billing system for reference.
On some websites, the Evidence of Insurability (EOI) application consists of a fillable form that needs to be printed and mailed to the carrier. With a true online EOI system, clicking “submit” should route the completed application to the carrier’s database for review. Some carriers even use auto-approval technology, approving applications in minutes and automatically emailing the employee with an approval date and the amount of insurance. This shaves days off the application process if the service is truly online. Note also that this eliminates instances of the employer inadvertently viewing an employee’s confidential health information, as often happens when paper transfers hands before reaching the carrier.