With the implementation of healthcare reforms, tremendous amount of changes are expected to be brought in. These changes would define how the health insurance companies tackle the rising costs and cut in premiums. Of course, the expenditure on the administrative set-up needs to be brought down. One solution that can serve the purpose is the automation of health insurance sales process. It would facilitate 24-hour operations without any additional cost for the extra hours put in the business.
To achieve automation in sales procedure of health insurance, healthcare companies need to contract some software development companies who can understand the rigorous requirements of healthcare reforms and technical aspects of health insurance business. Of course, it is not an easy collaboration to make. Healthcare companies have to make sure that the service providers understand the requirements pretty clearly and can envisage the solutions at their ends. At the same time, it is a huge business opportunity for software development companies. If they can provide automation solutions to healthcare companies, they can tap a huge market in the US.
While talking about software automation, healthcare companies are offered some of the below mentioned features:
1. Fully functional and up-to-date website of the insurance agency with all the features included and properly working. This website ideally includes quoting software, carrier brochures, and online application facility to ease the process. Sometime, real-time customer support is also provided to make a close business relationship with the consumers at the very start.
2. Lead management is another common aspect of sales automation software. This system helps to sort, track and follow-up every lead.
3. Marketing solutions are also integrated in these software for email marketing, etc.
However, healthcare companies should think about deeper solutions while buying sales automation software for health insurance. Let’s consider some further points:
1. The best feature of any particular software is, of course, the ease and control that the admin panel provides. Ideally, for health insurance, the admin panel should provide features to add/edit rates and products, add/edit information and brochures, manage agents/brokers, payment option configuration, email notification and template customization, etc.
2. Sales automation software should provide eligibility-check support for consumers. While states are using this software for health insurance exchange, the software should facilitate eligibility-check for health plans also.
3. While we talk about sales automation, the software should also automate the advice provided by agents/brokers. So, the software should be able to provide quotes that are matched the needs of consumers.
4. Software automation should facilitate the enrollment process of consumer and family members. If an employer is the customer, adding of more employees should be a feature. This enrollment feature could be extended to review plan details, payment segments by the employee and employer, portion for HSA and FSA, etc.
5. Agent portal is one option that sales automation should provide for health insurance. This portal should facilitate prospective client’s database management, searching for plans for clients, sending proposals to clients, applying on the behalf of clients, and tracking of the application, etc.
6. On payment fronts, automation should accept credit cards as the payment method with secure transaction facilities, payment collection from HRAs, subsidy collection from state and federal programs, payment collection from employers, etc.
7. Reporting is a very crucial for any automation solution. The software should be able to build reports about eligibility metrics, state resident health insurance metrics, state exchange operating metrics, and any other customized metrics desired by a particular companies, etc.
8. Lastly, software should offer customized e-apps that a healthcare company desires. Some of these options could include partial filling of forms for future use, e-signing the application, application status tracking, supporting the printing of partially filled application forms for hand-filling, submission of paper application via email, etc.
Given that the requirements of a healthcare company may differ, the automation of sales for health insurance is not a predefined process that can be outlined and carried out. However, the developed or provider of such solutions should be ready for demands by the healthcare companies. At the same time, health insurance companies should gauge their needs for healthcare reform compliance to make themselves reform ready and retail ready.