This week, we bring you advancements in technology that will help both advisors and consumers by providing better access to understanding benefits and customer service from Guardian, Insurance Technologies, Independence Blue Cross and Accolade. On page 2, MassMutual has launched a social initiative and FPA has launched a campaign focused on increasing volunteerism and engagement from their members. Also, take a look at the new designations on the IRI board of directors on page 3.
Finally, get all glammed up because on page 4 you’ll find everything about the industry’s awards and recognitions: Guardian has been recognized by JD Power for their call center program in the 401(k) industry, IRI honored inaugural leadership award recipients, LIDMA presented Genworth with their inaugural Pacesetter Award and Dave Seager received Northwestern Mutual’s National Award. Congratulations!
1. New technologies help both advisors and consumers to better understand benefits, improve their health care experience and support the growing market
Guardian video series helps employees navigate benefit options during open enrollment season
As open enrollment season gets underway, employees begin the process of selecting their workplace benefits for 2015. Many are at risk of over or under insuring due to confusion and a lack of understanding of their coverage options. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), a mutual life insurer and provider of employee benefits, is launching an online video series on Guardian Anytime and YouTube that explains how to optimize your workplace benefits coverage to avoid coverage gaps and achieve your financial goals.
According to the 2014 Guardian Workplace Benefits Study SM, employers are shifting more costs and responsibilities to their employees at a time when these benefits are becoming more critical to the workers’ overall financial security and well-being. Forty-seven percent of employers surveyed planned to ask employees to bear a greater portion of the benefit cost, but only 22 percent said they felt “well prepared” to discuss the changing benefits environment. And only one in four employees said their company’s communications are very helpful in choosing what’s right for them. Guardian’s video series helps employers and their employees understand the various benefit options available so they can select the most appropriate coverage for their unique needs.
Independence Blue Cross (Independence) has formed a strategic relationship with Accolade to offer an innovative, highly personalized health assistance service designed to help members make the most of their benefits and get the right care. Accolade’s Health Assistants® are now available to the employees and families of a select number of employer groups insured by Independence.
Accolade Health Assistants serve as a single point of contact to help members and their families access the benefits and health care they need and smoothly navigate the often complex health care system. Health Assistants — supported by a team of nurses, doctors, social workers and other specialists — build relationships with individual members and develop highly personalized and integrated plans that factor in not only the member’s health status but also the emotional, financial and social issues that affect the member’s decisions about care.
Launched in July, Accolade’s services are available to a preliminary group of 40 employers at no additional cost to participating members. Accolade Health Assistants help members understand their benefits, and they discuss treatment options and provide referrals to the Independence case management or disease management teams.
Insurance Technologies expands
Insurance Technologies, LLC, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the insurance and financial services industries, announced its expansion to accommodate a 30 percent increase in its life and annuity customers in the last 12 months.
Driven by an increase in client growth for both ForeSight® and FireLight®, Insurance Technologies has strategically expanded its technology and industry expertise to continue to provide clients with innovative products supported by the level of customer service its customers expect from Insurance Technologies. To support its growing life clientele, Insurance Technologies has grown a strong team of six actuaries and 20+ senior actuarial software engineers.
2. Social campaign and volunteerism initiatives
MassMutual launches “Love Is A Gift” social initiative
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) launched “Love Is A Gift,” a social initiative that encourages people to make a statement about the transformative power of love and share a picture of themselves with those who matter most to them. For every photo story uploaded to Loveisagift.com, MassMutual will donate $1 to Easter Seals — up to $50,000. The initiative will run through Nov. 30.
“We are thrilled to join with Easter Seals again to celebrate the work they do in providing help, support services and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, their caregivers and veterans,” said John Chandler, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, MassMutual.
To participate, go to loveisagift.com.
FPA launches Volunteer Engagement Initiative to increase member activity, satisfaction
Volunteerism is the lifeblood of any professional association, which is why the Financial Planning Association (FPA) has created an initiative to engage more members in organizational leadership roles. The Volunteer Engagement Initiative, which was officially introduced at the FPA Annual Conference – BE Seattle 2014 – will enable the FPA to enhance how the organization engages with a wide number of volunteers in varying capacities. The goal is to have a profound impact on the organization and the profession through the combined effort of passionate, involved volunteers.
This initiative will help FPA increase awareness of the vast opportunities to volunteer within FPA; support and empower a volunteer culture where members are educated about the volunteer opportunities that fit their skills, passions and time constraints; provide appropriate recognition for volunteers; and better track volunteer activity and engagement.