The health and life insurance industry news roundup for this week.

With the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and expanded employee-paid benefit plan offerings, the need to strategically leverage benefit communications, education, and decision support tools has become increasingly important. As part of its commitment to support broker enrollment needs with small business clients, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), a mutual life insurer and provider of employee benefits, announced the launch of Guardian Enrollment Maker (GEM), a new benefits communication resource center.

GEM gives brokers more control over benefit communication activities by providing a single place to access communication ‘best practices’, as well as a full range of benefit communication assets to better serve their clients, particularly small businesses.

In 2013, Legal & General America announced a flexible eDelivery solution to deliver life insurance policies to customers electronically, saving brokerage general agencies time and money. To create its eDelivery platform, Legal & General America partnered with DocuSign, the global leader in eSignature, and Paypal to process online payments.

Since the launch of Legal & General America’s eDelivery solution:

• Over 60,000 policies have been signed electronically.

• 30 percent of Legal & General America policies are eDelivered.

• 20 percent of eDelivered policies are completed within one day of receipt.

• More than half of eDelivered policies are completed by the policy owner within seven calendar days.

• On average, eDelivery policies are activated two weeks sooner than paper policies.

• To date, time saved using eDelivery instead of paper totals nearly 912,500 days or 2,500 years.

In 2014, Legal & General America’s proprietary eDelivery platform received the prestigious Novarica Research Council Impact Award.

Sun Life Wake Up Summit will provide expert insight on health care benefits in 2015, when industry leaders in insurance and health care will gather on April 1. The Summit will feature experts in the fields of insurance and health care reform, discussing one of the most defining issues of our time and the sessions will give a real-life perspective on how employers are taking control of their health care benefits and analyzing solutions like self-insurance. For the full schedule, agenda, list of speakers, and more information on discussion topics, visit: http://www.sunlifesummit.com/.  

The live webcast will be broadcast from Bloomberg Headquarters in New York City and you can join by registering at http://www.sunlifesummit.com/.

The developers of award-winning personal health management platform Healthspek have announced the addition of Insurance Finder, a service to aid in connecting consumers with recommended health and life insurance agents by location. As a platform for individuals and families to track, collect and safely disseminate personal health care information, Healthspek utilizes health care technology to improve an often overlooked piece of the health care system: patient experience. Dozens of “speks” allow users to own and manage a variety of health care needs from vitals and charts to a knowledge library on medical conditions, prescription refills and medication reminders, and a repository for legal documents such as living wills and power of attorney.

Insurance Finder is now available to all Healthspek account holders on the user-configurable dashboard.

Duncan Sheils has joined the Virginia office of Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA), a national employee benefits firm with 25 offices across the country. Sheils strengthens DBA’s Va. team of 50, coming on board as a producer and bringing more than two decades of leadership and sales experience with top companies throughout Virginia. Prior to joining DBA, Sheils was director of sales and account management for Delta Dental of Virginia, where he spent the majority of his career as a sales leader.

EY’s Human Capital HR Performance Improvement group announced that Catherine Honey and Jackie Taylor have joined the firm, and Annette King has joined EY’s National Tax Department in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) practice.

Catherine Honey brings to EY’s Human Capital Performance Improvement practice a strong focus on global payroll consulting, having been a partner at Wipro and Mercer Consulting, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, and practice manager for the Hunter Group.

Jackie Taylor joins EY Tax’s HR Performance Improvement practice in New York. Her 15+ years’ experience in HR and technology include leading the evaluation and optimization of global HR processes and technologies in an effort to align with organizational goals. She comes to EY from PVH Corp where she was a senior director of Global HR Systems. Taylor is also the recipient of NJBiz’ 2015 Best 50 Women in Business Award as well as the 2015 Outstanding Women in Somerset Award for her leadership in information technology.

And Annette King joins EY’s National Tax Department in the Indirect Tax/Affordable Care Act practice as an executive director based in Tampa. She has more than 20 years of experience with health benefits and retirement plans and will be working with clients to help them become ACA compliant. Previously, King worked in benefits at Bloomin’ Brands and as a director of both benefits and HR for Starbucks Coffee Company.

More than 70 percent of consumers turn to the Internet first via computers, smartphones and tablets – to research, compare and ultimately purchase their insurance policies. To meet today’s insurance buyers where they browse and buy while helping local agents digitally connect with today’s consumers, Intygral announced it has expanded its executive team and introduced a new company identity. The company appointed John McGuinness as CEO, and Lou Geremia, former CEO of Bankrate Insurance, as a key advisor.

The company has also revamped and enhanced the single, centralized Intygral system to give insurance agents every opportunity to engage with current customers while continuously cultivating new prospects and capture local business. The system’s key features include CRM, email campaigns, marketing automation, social media support, website building and expert resources.