How benefits and HR tech companies are responding to coronavirus

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Health insurance, benefits and HR platforms are changing the way they operate in response to COVID-19. These platforms are at the forefront of helping businesses, HR professionals and benefits brokers navigate unprecedented challenges brought forth by the pandemic.

“[Carriers] are accelerating the onboarding of customers so that they can have earlier access to telehealth,” says Michael Levin, CEO of Vericred, a data company that supports HR and benefits administration platforms. “Most important to understand is that they're doing this while many of them themselves are furloughing or laying off some of their own staff in order to meet their own challenges.”

On the carrier side, Vericred is seeing different dynamics emerge that are coronavirus specific. For example, a number of carriers are allowing employees who've been furloughed to remain on group insurance, are waiving costs for testing and treatment of COVID-19, and are making exceptions for payment methods.

“You've got a lot of small employers who shouldn't be going to their offices, and don't have access to their checkbooks and systems [at home],” Levin says. “So we're increasingly seeing a number of the carriers accept credit cards as a means of payment and it's all in response to COVID.”

Some carriers have also created a special enrollment period so that companies that are seeking to provide coverage — but perhaps can't afford the same level of coverage as before — can step into a different plan, Levin says.

Levin shared other methods Vericred’s customers are implementing to counteract the coronavirus pandemic:

HealthJoy, a benefits experience platform, announced QuickLaunch in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative allows companies to deploy telemedicine and concierge support to employees within two business days.
HR and benefits platform Zenefits is offering businesses 12 months of free payroll with an annual subscription to any of the firm’s HR software packages. Zenefits has also published several resources designed to help small and medium sized businesses navigate COVID-19.
Small business-focused HR and benefits platform Gusto has created an extensive COVID-19 resources page. In addition to original content, the guide includes financial and relief resources, broken down by federal program and at the state level.
GoCo, an HR, benefits and payroll platform, created a COVID-19 section on its website that offers advice and insights for businesses and HR professionals. The company also launched a new feature to help businesses track leave requests in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
San Francisco-based Rippling, an employee management platform, has published a range of content for businesses, with advice on hiring and onboarding remote employees, and uncovering hidden security risks of remote work. Additionally, Rippling offered a free webinar with recommendations on how to onboard employees in the age of COVID-19.
Ease, a digital benefits administration platform serving more than 1,500 agencies and 70,000 employers, is helping brokers digitize their operations and workflows. In response to heightened demand for its BenAdmin and HR solutions, Ease is doubling both training and support to make it easier for brokers to onboard clients remotely.
With an influx of volume related to COVID-19, Teladoc, a virtual care and telehealth platform, has responded by developing FAQ documents to assist confirmed and potential coronavirus patients to receive care remotely.
AmWINS, an insurance brokerage with products across property, casualty and group benefits, is offering insights on how COVID-19 is transforming the insurance industry, and advice for brokers on how to assist clients during this unprecedented period.
Decisely, a benefits brokerage and HR platform for small businesses, produced for its customers a document on The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides financial aid and other benefits to combat COVID-19 in the U.S.
Zywave, a technology solutions provider operating across multiple lines of insurance, is offering a COVID-19 resources center to help brokers and their clients confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Zywave’s in-house content team organized the resources into three categories: compliance, HR, and information for employees.