Watch the second installment of our four-part series of short videos aimed at helping pooled groups find the right combination of technology and services to grow their business. Watch the video or read the transcript below.
Ty: Hello again from Businessolver. My name is Ty Arlint. And I'm joined by Ben Pasker, Vice President of Client Operations at Businessolver. And today, we're continuing our video series Business Models for Pooled Insurance Groups. How are you doing, Ben?
Ben: Good. Thanks for having me again.
Ty: Absolutely. So, as we mentioned in our introductory video, most pooled groups fit into one of three categories: fully centralized, fully decentralized, or a hybrid model. Ben, why is it important for pooled insurance groups to understand which model they fit into?
Ben: I think the single most important reason for them to have that understanding when working with a technology provider is simply from a support-model perspective. If you look at a centralized model, which we'll talk about a little bit more here in this session, they're going to be much tighter in terms of communication and contact points. With decentralized models, your technology providers can be working with numerous different entities within your association. And that support model needs to be a lot different. So, I think that's the biggest reason: the support model and understanding what it's going to take to be successful together. And, obviously, the price point that goes along with that.
Ty: Excellent. So, let's jump into the first model that we talked about—the fully centralized model. What are the primary characteristics of that model, Ben?
Ben: That model is going to a kind of single point of entry or one-stop-shop for all the employee and member questions that might come up within the association. So, with that, there's obviously going to need to be a very trained and knowledgeable team within the association that knows everything about the association, whether that’s the products being offered, the vendors they're working with, or their other partners. So that obviously comes with a higher expense to the pool. But I think there are some advantages there as well, specifically the control that they have with the messaging and the experience of the members and their employees within the association.
Ty: Okay. If I'm a fully centralized group and I'm going to go out and look for a benefits technology and services provider, what should I keep at the top of my list? Maybe think about it as the non-negotiables—something that I've got to go look for. What do you see from that perspective?
Ben: Yes. So, Ty, I think there's obviously going to be some table stakes that all vendors need to bring to the table: enrollment and eligibility, a flawless member experience, getting eligibility data out to the different vendors and carriers, and consolidated billing is extremely important in this space. So, that has to work flawlessly as well.
Outside of that, I think there are a couple of things. One, what type of automation can the technology help the association and member groups with in terms of communication, whether that's reminders of in-progress transactions or being able to send out a consistent message to all the employees or admins within that association. And, what types of automation are there to help from a communications standpoint? Then, how are they supporting the members, whether that's decision support to help members make better buying decisions when they're electing their benefits, or things like artificial intelligence that can help take some of the heavy lifting of answering questions off the admin's plates, like “What’s my deductible?” and things along those lines.
And then last, but certainly not least, how is it all working together? How is it all tied together? For example, the data going to decision support and the data going to the carriers. So, in my opinion, a single-source technology is best in breed. That’s one database where all these different tools are pulling data from. That is, we’re not passing data in between these different modules to be able to support the execution of the services that we're fulfilling for any of our clients. So, I think that's possibly the most important piece.
Ty: That's great advice. I appreciate that.
Ty: So, thanks, Ben. That’s about all the time we have for today. Make sure you join us for our next installment, where we'll be talking about fully decentralized groups. And last, but not least, make sure you subscribe to the Businessolver blog, so you're first to know when the next video comes out. Thanks for joining us, and have a great day.
Did you miss the introductory vlog in this series? Check it out here.
For more information on pooled groups, check out our e-book below and learn 6 Ways Benefits Technology Can Buoy Pooled Groups.